Popular Culture: Is Kowinki's Theory Regarding Shopping Malls having an iconic image valid?

Essay by ksuzanne63 September 2003

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After reviewing Kowinski's notion that shopping malls enjoy an iconic status, I definitely agree with his philosophy. Over the past five years, many new malls have been constructed in the Central Ohio region. For instance, some newer malls in this area are Easton Town Center, Polaris Fashion Center, and Tuttle Crossing Mall. Being an avid shopper, I have visited many of them. Each mall is designed very uniquely and each varies in style, character, and originality. This support's Kowinki's reasoning that malls can have an iconic status. For me, I have found my mood and shopping preferences tend to vary, depending on which shopping complex I am at. For example, at Polaris Fashion Center, I often buy fewer items at more expensive prices, but at Eastland Mall, I hunt for bargains and usually will purchase multiple items on sale. I have never taken notice to my personal shopping habits until reading "The Malling of America."

After evaluating the differences in my moods at different shopping centers, I concluded that my disposition was influenced by the design and layout of the mall. Polaris Fashion Center offers the shopper a street of serenity. The walkways are adorned with beautiful plants, plush furniture, and large glass atriums that allow the sunrays to shine into the building. The shopper is swept away and whisked into the imagery and solitude of the surroundings, forgetting their worries for a brief moment, while mindlessly roaming the luxurious stores. When I compare Eastland mall's ambience to Polaris, it is like comparing a landfill to a field of colorful wildflowers. It's lack of appeal, fails to sweep the shopper away into a state of relaxation. It's aged décor results in a shopping pattern that encourages a shopper to become cheap and thrifty. The dark walkways offer...