Matthew Gloria - The Assembly of Consumption, a new concept of retail architecture for the future
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The Assembly of Consumption, a new concept of retail architecture for the future

Matthew Gloria

Progettazione architettonica
Matthew Gloria
In the past 100 years, we have seen nothing more changing than the space of retail. From their initial forms as local markets to the now proliferating big box store, retail has always changed and has yet to truly adapt to our ever changing society, even with the rapid growth and integration of technology within the past 30 years. As we can see all over the US, the negative effects of this kind of large permanent retail has continued to be detrimental to our communities and our environment. Thus the need for a new form of much more temporary, flexible architecture is high especially as communities and populations continue to grow into the future. This is no where more true than in the harsh fluctuating environment of the oil field, specifically in the harsh climate of West Texas. For the boom and bust of oil feeds the economy of the area, but in return leaves many small communities with overabundances of cheap architecture that are built in response to these large influxes of populations and money. Not only this but with the proliferation of large big box stores, the current method in which they are constructed is unsustainable. As Walmart and other similar companies move into a community they not only establish one building but as the community grows they begin to expand to other stores. This is of course typical with any company except instead of updating their existing buildings they usually abandon them entirely and build a new larger store either right next-door or within less than a mile radius from the previous store. Again this leapfrogging leaves major gaps within the community as these abandon buildings are usually never reused as they’re either too expensive to buy out or are just too large of a building to be able to restore and utilize. Examples exist of big box reuse but these again are far and few between. To me, this form of fast-paced architecture just doesn’t work in these places (or anywhere for that matter). Instead of trying to reuse these stores I believe we need to rethink and reimagine, from the ground up, what retail Architecture can be. This leads me to my concept of the temporary modular market. Instead of building a permanent structure for a single use, why not build and create something that is not only easily buildable but also easily adaptable to any environment and in any situation. Utilizing the simplicity of low-cost materials and the highly efficient standardized module, we can begin to see how easily temporary architecture can be integrated within a community. Able to be shipped, unpacked, built, and finished in as quick of time as the boom cycle begins and just as easily able to be taken down and moved elsewhere when it’s use is no longer needed. This could not only help protect our environment but it could also establish a new precedent of what retail architecture can be for the future.


 University of Texas at San Antonio
 College of Architecture, Construction, and Planning

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