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    The Line

    Christopher Perrodin
    Feb 23, '16 10:46 PM EST

    From the previous draft of writings and collages about retail space and experience, I am toeing a line.  

    One side of the line there are retailers.  To them I say this:  People need you and you need them.  No need to fear the digital, here is a possible way forward.  I see some strategies that work and some things worth trying.  I suggest finding ways of removing all metaphor between life and style.  Just as you have created a seamless brand experience, you can also create a seamless connection between the clothing and the suggested ways of living.  Low density, low rent places outside of international cities have the space and the need for this kind of pairing.  You can start to build brand experience through events which would lead into future sales.  Also, in an uncertain future regarding commodities and sales, creating memories and experiences puts you in a market which has no resource limit.  Because a lived moment cannot be shared, passed down or resold, there is a strong incentive for you to build that side of your brand now. 

     

    On the other side there are the architects.  To them I say this:  Retail and commercial environments are my daily experience of public life.  And I can't imagine I am alone in that reality.  I have lived many places and done a good amount of travel.  It seems that this commercial/retail environment is an American way of living--of being public.  Is there something to be gained from fully embracing this?  Is there a point that architects resist resisting and try to see what can be learned from retail?  Isn't retail fully invested connecting space, place, and digital all as one indistinguishable whole, creating a 21st C experience?  Isn't retail keenly invested in telling a compelling story through space/form/graphics?  Doesn't it want to create a memorable experience?

    If we are to spend so much time as a public in such an environment, is there any way to leverage it more fully to the public's advantage?  More communal?  More meaningful?  In the face of a largely isolated and segregated way of living, where could I potentially meet people unexpectedly with whom I have a shared interest?  In a car driven life, the chance meeting in the urban experience happens in the small clusters of commercial space.  The car and the suburban home are largely architecture of isolation.  The only counter point that I could see for a low density environment would be in the church and the mall.  And I don't go to church.

    plaza, mall, and church



     
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I will chronicle my design research and degree project, providing commentary on my thought process at the time. From there, I will transform the body of work into a book which seeks to place into dialogue the two (currently) separated semesters of work.

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