This international conference was co-convened by Janina Gosseye and Tom Avermaete in June 2015 at the Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands). The conference aimed for a fine-grained, region-specific reading of the shopping centre type, as well for a reassessment of the shopping centre’s vital characteristics and crucial contributions to post-war built environments and architectural culture. The conference welcomed papers that respond to one (or several) of four themes:

The theme ‘From node to stitch: Shopping centres and urban (re-)development’ invited papers that addressed the role that the shopping centre played in urban planning from 1943 to today; connecting its development to urban reconstruction and revitalization efforts on the one hand and exploring the role that this commercial typology assumed in (post-war) urban expansion and structured suburbanization on the other.

The theme ‘Acculturating the shopping centre: Timeless global phenomenon or local (time- and place bound) idiom?‘ questioned if ‘hybrids’ developed as the shopping centre concept encountered radically different socio-cultural climates across the globe, and if so: what region-specific typologies of this assumed ‘ubiquitous’ commercial paradigm could be identified? Also, as societies changed over the course of six decades, the theme also asked if the concept of the ‘shopping centre’ – in a true Darwinistic fashion – evolved over time?

The theme ‘Building collectives and communities: Shopping centres and the reform of the masses‘ invited contributions that studied the reformist underpinnings and socio-cultural ambitions of shopping centres, and aimed to investigate the role of shopping centres as new figures of collectivity in the post-war urban realm.

The theme ‘The afterlife of post-war shopping centres: From tumorous growth to the dawn of the dead‘ sought to identify strategies for the redevelopment of shopping centres that have lost their function by looking at ‘best practices’ across the globe.

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Keynote speakers were: Helena Mattsson (KTH Stockholm, Sweden) and David Smiley (Columbia University, US)

The full conference programme and book of abstracts can be downloaded here. In addition to the book of abstracts, also complete conference proceedings were printed. A digital copy of the conference proceedings can be downloaded here.

Janina Gosseye, Tom Avermaete (eds.), The Shopping Centre 1943-2013: The Rise and Demise of a Ubiquitous Collective Architecture, TUDelft (Belgium), 11-12 June 2015.