the shopping mall as a consumption-free meeting space

In digital modernity, the shopping center, next to the virtual world of e-commerce, counts as one of the so-called “third places” (after home and work) that, according to sociologist Ray Oldenburg, play an important role in community building. Nonetheless, the analogous shopping mall is only one of many marketplaces and social spaces representing a model no longer in tune with the times, due to its focus on maximum consumption. For malls to keep up with online competitors and enhance their value proposition, designer Julia Landsiedl envisions a commerce-free zone where consumers can hang out and meet others.

“The Mall” at the Wien Mitte railway station—a hybrid train station, office building, shopping and gastronomy center—is a laboratory for the demonstrator Shopping Spotting. Visitors are invited to observe what unfolds within the Mall, with the focus being on “dying” species of shoppers and their behavior in today’s merchandise territory. By means of design-ethnographic methods this transit point for travelers and locals is studied with a view to sustainable alternatives to our current “temples of consumerism" (Curators: Thomas Geisler, Harald Gründler; Project Assistance: Pia Plankensteiner).

Research, walk in Installation (incl. Graphic)
MAK, Vienna Biennale 2015:2051