Register: SEP/15/2019, Submit: SEP/25/2019, Eligibility: Students, professionals, institutions; all design disciplines; individually, teams with unlimited number of members, Fee: Students 20 USD, professionals 25 USD, institutions 80 USD (APR/16 – MAY/10/2019); students 25 USD, professionals 35 USD, institutions 100 USD (MAY/11 – SEP/15/2019); (more details on the competition website), Awards: Winner: 5,000 USD; 3 Runner-up (2 students and 1 professional): 1,500 USD each; 4 People’s Choice (2 students and 2 professionals): 500 USD each; 14 Honorable Mentions (7 students and 7 professionals): 250 USD each; (more details on the competition website)
The world has started moving towards an era of globalization in the wake of technology which is an ultimate driving force for economic growth. The consumer market playing a vital role in this is speculated to increase more than two folds than the current total per capita consumption in the coming decade taking a center stage in a global economy. One of the evident causes behind this unprecedented growth is the rising urbanization and expanding the middle-class population. The concept of a physical store has changed drastically over a century, from open markets, agora to malls, bringing us to the question as to what is next?
We have started experiencing shopping at the convenience of our homes, just a click away, paved by E-retail. Advancement of the onset of the internet era that was inevitable. The ease of buying a product in an urban marketplace and personalized service which earlier acted as a value addition offered exclusively by brick and mortar stores has now taken a backseat. This has enabled E-retail to thrive to great extents, but are they becoming a terminal solution to consumer experience?
Retail Stores have formed a significant part in shaping public spaces as well as defining a neighborhood, band consequently acted as a sphere for harboring a social spot. As soon as we entered the realm of the digital age, the popularity of online shopping services shifted the transactions from physical retail stores to online. Retail fronts, even after being an open junction for exchange of ideas, dialogues, interaction and building our societies are still struggling to find their place today. But why?
Malls which began as a collective retail front were housed not only for shopping but were considered a place for social gatherings as well. Even though it attracted all kinds of user groups, the social experiences offered by them were limited in the past. With changing times, people craved for alternate experiences, changing the way people spent their money and time. Consequently, malls tried to extend themselves to keep themselves relevant. This model is eventually turning obsolete today.
It was not only the losing appeal of malls but also the incoming of the digital age that turned people to virtual spaces more (read, Facebook groups). The battle of online vs offline gives the perception that these forces are fighting for customers, whereas both are trying to deliver a better experience. With a common goal in sight, can these two forces play together instead of playing against each other?
DIXIE SQUARE MALL SITE, HARVEY, IL
The site for this new experimental market place is located at the demolished Dixie Square Mall site in Harvey. This mall was built in the 20th Century during a phase of a gold rush to build Megamarket places. It was placed on a commercially valuable land on the Dixie highway that connects to Chicago. However, the mall wasn’t able to meet its commercial expectations for not more than a decade due to a multitude of reasons. The possible reasons point at an incorrect feasibility study, an incompatible configuration of the market, leading to rising social issues and falling interest of the public. With a series of vandalism and abandonment by various store owners, the mall had to be pulled down. With the technological assets of today and a better design strategy – how can we craft a better market place that serves as a model for re-thinking falling marketplaces like these around the world?
- Area: 22149 m2
- Height limit: 15 m (49.21ft)
- Ground Coverage: 40% of built area
- Site coordinates: 41°36’46.3″N 87°, 40’07.6″W