Links for November 16, 2018

The Existential Void of the Pop-Up ‘Experience’

The central experience delivered at all these places is one of waiting. At the Color Factory, I first waited for half an hour past my ticket time, outside in the 90-degree heat. Then I waited inside the lobby, just outside a roped-off area. After being allowed inside the roped-off area, I was offered mochi ice cream while I waited. Then I was shown an orientation video and ushered into a rainbow-painted hallway, which turned out to be another line in disguise.

The Abandoned, Apocalyptic Architecture of One Bold 1970s Retail Chain

Some architects, though, didn’t view the showrooms so kindly. The May 1977 issue of Architectural Record contains several scathing letters to the editor, including one from a California-based reader who called the buildings “an affront to human dignity, an insult to architectural innovativeness and stooping to the lowest on the altar of gimmickry.” A construction company owner in New York suggested SITE, Inc. be given the architectural award for “Sheer Lunacy.” For some designers and critics, there was just no room for playful suburban shopping centers in the world of fine architecture.

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