Monday, December 8, 2008
White Christmas Shopping
I don’t usually think of architecture as pernicious*. But I may have been wrong.
I stopped by a new shopping mall today. It was another of those malls designed to look like a town. Most of the stores had fake windows on the second floors. It was just like an urban landscape: shops on the ground floor, residences on the upper floors.
Except, unlike a real town, there were no minorities visible. No homeless. No “undesirables.” It was an idealized shopping town for middle-and-upper-class white people.
If I were in charge, no malls would be permitted to build fake upper floors. If a store has second-floor windows, there would have to be rental apartments behind them. Places people could live, even those who can't afford to shop at those stores.
And every Wall-Mart would have a homeless shelter next to it.
But that’s just me.
*With the possible exception of Brutalism. If there was ever a style in need of re-branding, it’s Brutalism. I wonder if the wordsmith who turned the Estate Tax into the Death Tax is still available?