It's no secret that online shopping is becoming increasingly popular, and this is definitely one of the main reasons shopping malls are disappearing. More and more people are choosing to shop from the comfort of their homes, and with such a wide range of products available online, it's not hard to see why. Cloverleaf's best customers, women, began to stay away from the mall, afraid of the young people who were starting to congregate there. Alexandra Lange, writer and design critic, believes that malls have received a “bad reception”, specifically by the architecture and design community.
A dead mall (also known as a ghost mall, zombie mall, or abandoned mall) is a mall with a high vacancy rate or a low level of consumer traffic, or that is deteriorating in some way. But on the other hand, malls tend to be viewed with nostalgia. I bet you're thinking about your memories of the mall as you read this. When I started this project, I knew that I, born in 1973, was part of the Mall Generation.
I grew up with the smell of those pretzels, able to disconnect from the Muzak and find my car in a multi-level parking lot. Lange argues that shopping malls should be reused for mixed-use walkable developments that combine residential, commercial and public. E-commerce has permanently changed the way consumers shop, and malls are no longer what they used to be. In the 1960s, architects and designers perfected the garden mall, which had atriums full of plants and bathed in sunlight that invited shoppers to stay.
Like design for children, the subject of my last book, the mall was omnipresent and under-examined and could be a bit embarrassing as an object of serious study. In the U.S. In the US and Canada, newer large chains (also known as “category killers”), such as Walmart, Target Corporation and Best Buy, tend to prefer custom-built independent buildings rather than using spaces anchored to malls. Lange's definitive vision for reusing mall space might be a vision that largely repudiates the singular focus on commercialism, but it doesn't rule out shopping or what they can do for us.
Many shopping malls in North America are considered dead (for lease purposes) when they don't have any main or successor stores that could attract people to the mall. The barriers of the American dream, the border and the white fence crossed with shopping malls when they emerged in the decades after World War II, when the United States reinvented itself. I waited for Lange to mention Roosevelt Field; her story epitomizes much of what she describes in the book, from the way shopping malls shaped post-war suburbs to the fact that many of the centers that survive and thrive today are those that “sell an aura of exclusivity with luxury stores.”.