UBC Graduate Research

the case for shopping well : komorebi[hub] a retail incubator Ishizaki, Mika


Does retail have to be relegated to other negative economic forces in our city like gentrification, unaffordability, blandification? In a globalized economy, cities begin to look like one another, and even neighbourhoods within those cities are becoming homogenized at an alarming rate, dominated by chain stores and podium towers with hypermarkets. But neighbourhoods work best for residents when they are diverse, small grained, and are run by locals. The public - our cities - need to intervene to preserve identity and livability. Light filtering through the trees generates moments of warmth and discovery. The proposed ethical retail incubator is a space where the borders of retail diffuse into public space and amenities, generating moments of discovery. A forest of shops that dissolves the binaries of indoor-outdoor and public-private, allowing for new interactions with a business, a unique place to meet friends, or a moment in a commute that differs from the everyday banality of a changing city. We need to rethink how we interact with our cities and propose how retail can be a good social driver in the urban landscape.

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