We were recently involved with the rethinking and revamping of traditional shopping malls. It is already cliché to say that shopping malls everywhere has been disrupted by online shopping.
Increasingly, we find that more mall operators are relying on data analytics to guide mall planning to bridge the online and offline gaps. The role of the architect as planners of spaces is therefore reduced to mere decoration and at best thematization.
To avert this paralysing prospect, we devised a system of mass-customised prefabricated retail units that can be fabricated on demand and requiring only 48 hrs to assemble and set up on site. Retailers, can customise, simulate and execute the fabrication of their retail units online. Along with this retail units, we also proposed an organisational model that resembles urban growth patterns.
We proposed this as a suggestion that malls can be reclaimed by the City and conversely that retail no longer requires the confinement of a mall type.