The shopping centre, or “mall” in the American vernacular, has been a dominant part of our cultural and social lives for the past few decades. It has long been our one-stop-shop for groceries and the latest fashions and homewares, but it’s also earned its reputation for being a social hub. For teens and the elderly, it’s a great place to hang out with friends or to visit simply to be in the presence of other people.
With the rise of the big box centres like Walmart and Costco, however, doubts have been cast over whether the modern shopping centre is a sustainable business model. (And we haven’t even mentioned the impact of online shopping).
Could this be the end of the shopping centre?
I spoke to Lisa Scharoun, Assistant Professor of Media & Graphic Design at Canberra University and author of America at the mall: the cultural role of a retail utopia to find out.
America at the mall: the cultural role of a retail utopia is written by Lisa Scharoun published by Mcfarland.
Interview broadcast on ArtSound FM.
Interview date: 16 October 2012.
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