Spaces for Consumption offers an in-depth and sophisticated analysis of the processes that underpin the commodification of the city and explains the physical manifestation of consumerism as a way of life. Engaging directly with the social, economic, and cultural processes that have resulted in our cities being defined through consumption this vibrant book clearly demonstrates the ways in which consumption has come to play a key role in the reinvention of the post-industrial city. The book provides a critical understanding of how consumption redefines the consumers' relationship to place using empirical examples and case studies to bring the issues to life. It discusses many of the key spaces and arenas in which this redefinition occurs including shopping, themed space, mega-events, and architecture.
Developing the notion of ‘contrived communality,’ Steven Miles outlines the ways in which consumption, alongside the emergence of an increasingly individualized society, constructs a new kind of relationship with the public realm. Clear, sophisticated, and dynamic, this book will be essential reading for students and researchers alike in sociology, human geography, architecture, planning, marketing, leisure and tourism, cultural studies, and urban studies.
Chapter 5: Architectures of Consumption
Architectures of Consumption
It could be argued that architecture plays more of a key role in the symbolic reproduction of the consuming city at this point in history than it has ever done before. But the symbolic power of the city of consumption, as demonstrated by a supposedly revitalised postindustrial cityscape, is by no means a recent phenomenon. Nor is the strategic value of culturally driven building projects. From the Crystal Palace in 1851 to the Eiffel Tower in 1859, from the museum quarter in Kensington in 1851 and The Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow in 1901, from the Festival Hall to the South Bank Complex in 1951, the role of iconic architecture in perceptions of space has had a long history (Evans, 2003). ...