Saturday, April 28, 2012

Horton Plaza

Being at Horton Plaza and observing made me realize the thought and creative side behind the storefront designs. Each have their own material palette which is used as a means of information/communication to the shoppers. Although, it's probably subconscious.. the material palette can convey what's inside and give you a certain preconceived notion for what products they might sell. For example, the sparkles in the blue tile.. they sell jewelry. In the photos that follow you will see other examples of this same pattern. The house of stemms used a more direct, literal approach with actual flowers. Johnston& Murphy chose stone, most likely because they sell men's clothing, and the rough, jagged stone gives a more outdoorsy vibe. Gymboree uses color to indicate that its a kids clothing store. I also noticed that the top level for the food court becomes hard to see from the lower levels. I suspect that the very literal and large size of the signage in all of the food court and top level shops was made that way intentionally due to this issue. The store that sells hats literally has a huge hat as their sign... definitely can't miss that from the lower levels.

After visiting Horton Plaza I started thinking about our installation and what materials are inexpensive, yet make a big impact.. and can be integrated with projections/film and seating. So I started looking at webs with rope and fabrics. They can be stretched to create various forms and can have lights, colors or film projected directly on it, instead of placing it on the wall, this gives us more flexibility in terms of where we choose to place the "screen" or viewing area. 

Fabric can bet in tension for a different effect, the picture below shows fabric filled with sand.

As for the reading, it discusses the way that public spaces are formed and how outside factors like politics can end up affecting the space. She talks about European cities and their public spaces and how they are vast open spaces used for a variety of activities and how dead spaces throughout the city can also become public spaces. She also discusses politics within public spaces, such as public activism, etc. She links public space with digital media as well, saying that the space is being shared through a network rather than always physically experiencing the space. Overall, this article kind of puts public space into a new perspective rather than just the physical or design aspects of it all.

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