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Fahlsten, Sara (2006) Urbana utväxter. Other thesis, SLU.

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The shopping mall is a reflection of the city and its habitants, a concentrate of the modern city. I have studied the dialogues of malls and the communication within, how malls are put together and what they communicate. The city is constantly changing. As soon as we try to grasp the city, it slips away. My opinion is that city planners and landscape architects need to widen their views. City planning needs to develop to better fit to the changes of our modern cities. It needs to be more flexible. Studying the mall as an urban outgrowth and consumer concentrate, focusing on its dialogues and construction, we may reach an understanding of the modern city as well as issues concerning its planning. The mall is a passage between lifestyles and different cultures. A development of the bazaar, its function has remained, although its form has changed. The mall still reflects the city and the way people live within it. Our life today is unbound, we move freely between places and situations. Ambiguity and conflict are therefore accepted as parts of the communication between us. Since we can control neither all meetings nor all dialogues, our identity is scattered into many. In order to handle to the communication and commercialisation of the city, we have several platforms – the mall being one of them. The mall is built as a communicative outgrowth, a scenery constituting a commercial economy. The language is borrowed from the surrounding landscape. The components arranged in order to secure this economy and the way we navigate in space. Put together, the components communicate a story. Through the purchase and consumption, through our lifestyle, we confirm this story. The mall becomes, not just a place for lifestyles to interact, but also functions as a social mixing the people living in the city. It becomes a summary of the different lives we live. The commercial address is built into the mall environment. Advertisement, music, costumer meeting or how we move inside the mall, is not merely self controlled, but arranged. There are, however, also alternative dialogues in the mall, a more active/critical way of acting. Brought together, these ways of communicating – the strictly governed and less governed – build the complex story of the mall. When we study the mall from an open ended learning perspective, we can see how the mall actually opens up for participating dialogues. If we look closely at the shadings of commercial expression, we may be able to locate certain spatial aspects that can be developed further. The structuring dialogue inside the mall can be used to reach an understanding for other communicative spaces that are present but still unnoticed. We may charge the story and the depiction of what a mall is with a larger complexity, witch would offer the users a wider platform for alternative dialogues and furthermore support an active use of our city. The flexibility of commercial communication could in this sense present alternatives and complements to formal city planning of today. We have to widen our references. The landscape architect and the city planner can learn by using an open perspective. Despite the fact that it has often been dismissed as a negative, the mall can offer new knowledge. As a concentrate of tendencies or phenomena of the modern city, it could function as a springboard into a less constrained spatial thinking.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: Landskapsanalys, förtätning, scenografi, koncentrat, planering, landskap, offentligt, utväxt, modernitet, navigering, blandare, köpcentrum
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science > Dept. of Crop Science
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Landscape Planning, Horticulture and Agricultural Science
Depositing User: Sara Fahlsten
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2006
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 09:45
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/1355

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