The Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping / Harvard Design School Project on the City 2

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9783822860472: The Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping / Harvard Design School Project on the City 2

For several years, Harvard's design graduates concentrated their studies on the phenomenon of shopping as a primary mode of urban life. As Sze Tsung Leong writes, ""Not only is shopping melting into everything, but everything is melting into shopping."" ICK! So why did we pick up this book? Because Hannah at Quimby's told us to. Hannah's right; the design is very impressive, even if the motivation for it creeps us out.

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Review:

Like a favorite shopping emporium, The Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping is a browser's paradise. This second installment of the Project on the City aims to investigate "a general urban condition undergoing virulent change." A big brick of a book with hundreds of photos and a bundle of essays by prominent designers, architects, and urban scholars, it traces the evolution of the marketplace and the environments we create for the purpose of getting and spending. From the great covered arcades of the 19th century to the museum displays of grand department stores to air-conditioned suburban malls, the book examines the ecology and life cycles of retail space the world over. Dip into the book anywhere for insights into acquisitive behavior. Newspaper clippings cite retail trends; a bar chart compares retail square footage by country (the U.S. tops them all). Some of the essays are already marked in yellow highlighter so you can scan for the main points. A 2,000-year timeline tracks major developments with theme concepts: Disney Space, Three-Ring Circus, Brand Zones, Shopping Landscapes. The book makes a wonderful reference for urban planners, but it's equally accessible to those who just want to shop 'til they drop.

About the Author:

Chuihua Judy Chung is principal of Content Design Architecture Group in New York. With Sze Tsung Leong, she has assembled The Charged Void: Architecture, the complete architectural works of Alison and Peter Smithson. She is currently editing "Owning a House in the City", a study on low-income housing in the US.

Jeffrey Inaba, a partner of AMO (Architecture Media Organization) is writing a book on the work of Gordon Bunshaft and Kevin Roche.

Rem Koolhaas is principal of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, Rotterdam, and the author of Delirious New York and the groundbreaking S,M,L,XL.

Sze Tsung Leong is principal of Content Design Architecture Group in New York, whose current projects range from residential design to graphic and environmental materials for human rights organizations. Sze Tsung Leong is the author and co-editor of Slow Space (Monacelli, 1998).

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