Like a favorite shopping emporium, The Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping
is a browser's paradise. This second installment of the Project on the City aims to investigate "a general urban condition undergoing virulent change." A big brick of a book with hundreds of photos and a bundle of essays by prominent designers, architects, and urban scholars, it traces the evolution of the marketplace and the environments we create for the purpose of getting and spending. From the great covered arcades of the 19th century to the museum displays of grand department stores to air-conditioned suburban malls, the book examines the ecology and life cycles of retail space the world over. Dip into the book anywhere for insights into acquisitive behavior. Newspaper clippings cite retail trends; a bar chart compares retail square footage by country (the U.S. tops them all). Some of the essays are already marked in yellow highlighter so you can scan for the main points. A 2,000-year timeline tracks major developments with theme concepts: Disney Space, Three-Ring Circus, Brand Zones, Shopping Landscapes. The book makes a wonderful reference for urban planners, but it's equally accessible to those who just want to shop 'til they drop.
People should be coerced to go through this stuff, it's potent and vital. -- Creative Review, March 2002 (UK)
The book seems destined to become the year's hippest coffee-table accessory. -- The Washington Post, 3/9/02
This is a timely, fascinating and occasionally frightening survey of the world's favourite hobby. -- i-D Magazine, United Kingdom