- Taschenbuch: 800 Seiten
- Verlag: Taschen Verlag; Auflage: 01 (28. Dezember 2001)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 3822860476
- ISBN-13: 978-3822860472
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 19,9 x 5,2 x 24,6 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
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Project On The City 2. Harvard Design School Guide To Shopping (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 28. Dezember 2001
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Like a favorite shopping emporium, The Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping is a browser's paradise. This second installment of the Project on the City aims to investigate "a general urban condition undergoing virulent change." A big brick of a book with hundreds of photos and a bundle of essays by prominent designers, architects, and urban scholars, it traces the evolution of the marketplace and the environments we create for the purpose of getting and spending. From the great covered arcades of the 19th century to the museum displays of grand department stores to air-conditioned suburban malls, the book examines the ecology and life cycles of retail space the world over. Dip into the book anywhere for insights into acquisitive behavior. Newspaper clippings cite retail trends; a bar chart compares retail square footage by country (the U.S. tops them all). Some of the essays are already marked in yellow highlighter so you can scan for the main points. A 2,000-year timeline tracks major developments with theme concepts: Disney Space, Three-Ring Circus, Brand Zones, Shopping Landscapes. The book makes a wonderful reference for urban planners, but it's equally accessible to those who just want to shop 'til they drop.
This is a series of essays, statistical analyzes and reflections that together portray the people, techniques, ideologies, inventions, and spaces by which shopping has refashioned the city.
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Mr. Koolhaas' customary "Firehose" approach to editing - massive amount of unedited images and unaccredited charts and information featuring slogans sufficiently amorphous as to allow readers to draw whatever conclusion they want. Harvard GSD (Graduate School of Design) students would tell you that the whole book is a somewhat cynical exercise for Mr. Koolhaas to use his academic assistants to produce "research" that attempted to justify intellectually what he was designing for the Prada stores in NY, LA, etc. (a "cash cow" for Koolhaas' architectural firm according to his chief assistant) But since Koolhaas is an established and bankable star, none of the participants are complaining. In the end, most of the essays managed to emphasize an approach to architecture that happened to coincide with projects by Mr. Koolhaas.
For example, while the essay "Depato" give a reasonably detail account of the development of Japanese department stores in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, but then it focused on design features such as the "Bunkamura" or cultural village, art galleries and roof gardens that some stores had added in order to attract customers to shore up declining business. (Koolhaas advocated adding lecture hall in Prada stores but was vetoed for taking up too much valuable retail space). The essay never examined, let alone proposed solutions to, the real cause behind the decline of department store sales - the rise of discount shopping during the decade-long economic recession).
"Captive-Airmall" amiably speculates on the pros and cons of spaces designed for efficiency and what it meant to operate in an highly impersonal environment. However, it failed to mention the real reason that gave rise to such environment - airline de-regulation that began in the United States which eventually turned airports into corporations responsible for generating their own revenues and thus jump-started the airport retail business.
Much like a fashion product by Prada, this book is very useful if you want to brag about how intellectually curious and, at the same time, up-to-the-minute-Wallpaper-hip you are at home or the office - it's the latest design accessory for the 1990s bubble economy. It is disappointing to see that even a respectable institution such as Harvard has succumbed to the forces of the marketplace.
The authors' premise is that shopping is a living entity, one with survival on its mind. Retail, they claim, has evolved as other beings have evolved: Some advances are foreseen while others come through chance, but all advances are in response to external forces. In the case of retail, the dominant relationship is between the shop and the shopper. As the shopper changes, so must the shop evolve, write the authors.
That this work is not a completed whole, but rather a piece where some assembly is required by the reader, is important in making this book work. The authors do not and cannot answer all their questions. The idea of "ulterior motives" - which teases at the implications of increased use of IT in retail and urban planning - is, to me, the central issue. The authors note the shift from "how does spacial design affect people" to "how does information design affect people". They note the importance of this shift for the future of shopping and present a history of retail as the vocabulary for which readers can begin to discuss these questions.
Because the authors have taken on the task of teaching the language of retail, readers may feel as if they are back in grade school English class - slogging through page after page of seemingly useless information that is not neccessarily connected to the next bit of information. However, if you spend some time playing with this information - looking at each bit of knowledge as building blocks that can be moved about and repositioned next to other bits of knowledge to uncover new and different patterns - this book comes alive.
Naturally, the text covers all the big subjects, like Victor Gruen versus Jon Jerde (these are the guys you can blame/praise for all those malls) and everything else to do with shopping past, present, and into the future. I found very intriquing a chapter called Replascape, about companies that make artificial trees and shrubs for your local mall--and to keep up the pretense, in some locations, they are watered regularly. A large part of the book focuses on the U.S., but the rest of the developed world is not ignored. Shop till you drop in Europe, Japan, South America, Asia....
I would have liked an index in a book this size, but I still think the publishers should be proud that they have produced such an amazing book at a very affordable price.
Will that be cash or charge?
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