Tag Archives: Strip Malls

Thinking About a History of Strip Mall Culture

Strip Mall culture. Is this a sub-suburb of Denver, Colorado, Bismarck, North Dakota, Bloomington, Minnesota, or Las Vegas, Nevada?

Strip Mall culture. Where am I? Is this a sub-suburb of Denver, Colorado; Bismarck, North Dakota; Bloomington, Minnesota; or Las Vegas, Nevada?

I’m currently about to leave a sub-suburb of Denver, and while sitting in the strip mall complexes I couldn’t help but psychologically lapsing into thinking I was for a moment in north Bismarck or West Fargo, North Dakota, or a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota, or somewhere in Las Vegas, Nevada. Then I began openly wondering and considering how a scholarly history of Revit might help us, today, grapple with the homogeneous aesthetics that we wander and wonder around in. It no doubt is a reflection of the post-WWII industrial consumerism (and the democracy of stuff) that we were all born into. And this is why history is important, at least so friends, colleagues and family can help one another understand the deep backdrop of our horizontal and vertical strip mall culture.

I need to do further research on this, and chat with professors of engineering and architecture as well, but it seemed decent to get some thoughts together on this here blog. Also, it is not only the United States engaged in a Revit, strip-mall matrix, but the entire globe. For example, the video short below is of a small Hutong neighborhood in Beijing, China, the types that the government is increasingly sweeping away in the name of strip mall modernity. I think that frustration could be mitigated in 2013 if we at least had a body of historical scholarship that showed how horizontal and vertical strip malls came to be. Only when we know our past are we able to figure out what we need to react to, or what new directions to push in. But enough of all this. Here is downtown Beijing.