The above is a title of an article by the always interesting Allison Arieff in her NY Times blog in which Arieff attends the 2009 International Council on Shopping Centers Convention in Las Vegas to judge a competition examining future concepts for the shopping mall. She writes that most of the discussion and focus, however, seemed to be yearning for the days of old:
…most talk at ICSC was of how business as usual could resume once “things came back…”
Despite near-non-existent consumer spending, the declining popularity of shopping as America’s favorite pastime and the chilling effect foreclosed homes in housing developments are surely having on nearby malls, most entries in the ICSC competition responded less to the future of the shopping mall than to the glory days to which we’ve recently bid adieu. I was struck by how little attention entrants paid to things like sustainable architecture, alternative transit or changing consumer attitudes about consumption.
Architectural visions tended toward iconic futurist forms – domes or similarly curvy buildings that felt right in line with World’s Fairs past. Distressing to think that in 2059, we’ll finally get to live as the Jetsons did back in 1962.
All is apparently not lost, however. Arieff reviews other entries that were more urban friendly. It’s a good read. Take a look here.