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Atenea (Concepción)

versión On-line ISSN 0718-0462


SALCEDO, Rodrigo  y  DE SIMONE, Liliana. A static critique for a constantly changing space: The case of the mall in Chile. Atenea (Concepc.) [online]. 2013, n.507, pp.117-132. ISSN 0718-0462.

Malls appeared in the U.S. in the mid 1950's. They grew along with suburbanization (as an urban morphology), fordism (as a mode of production) and mass culture (as a pattern for socio-cultural reproduction). They arrived to Chile in the 1980's, and as happened decades before in the U.S., consumers embraced them and intellectuals criticized them furiously. At the end of the 1990's malls in Chile as in the rest of the world started a transformation process, both in morphological as well as in programmatic terms: They opened their borders to the city, and included new and more diverse uses. Consequently, visitors started identifying and acting in this space as if it were a public space (Cáceres & Farías, 1999). Despite the changes, intellectual criticisms of the mall haven't changed much over time, making it very easy for mall developers to demonstrate the distance existing between the criticisms and mall reality. The following article has two main purposes: (1) Show the dissimilar evolution of the mall as an urban object and of the criticisms it has had to endure; (2) Attempt a re-conceptualization and a new form of criticizing the mall considering both the roles the mall currently posses in the city, and the ways citizens conceptualize and appropriate it.

Palabras clave : Malls; demalling; public space.

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