17 Jul | The Gruen Effect: Victor Gruen and the Shopping Mall



17 July 2013

Guest Speaker: Prof. Kim Dovey
Architecture and Urban Design, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at The University of Melbourne

The Gruen Effect: Victor Gruen and the Shopping Mall

2009, Dir. Anette Baldauf and Katharina Weingartner, 54 minutes, German with English subtitles

The Viennese architect Victor Gruen is considered the father of the shopping mall. Along with his wife and partner Elsie Krummeck, he developed the concept of a “shopping town” that was a social utopia designed to mimic vibrant European city centers, complete with schools, parks, hospitals, and other social amenities. But profit-hungry investors stripped away social amenities and the rest is (sub) urban legend. The Gruen Effect looks at the architect’s life, work, and struggle with the rapidly growing consumer culture which contradicted his personal approach to public spaces. (source: SIFF)

Kim Dovey is Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Melbourne. He has published and broadcast widely on social issues in architecture, urban design and planning.  Books include ‘Framing Places’ (Routledge, 2008), ‘Fluid City’ (Routledge, 2005) and ‘Becoming Places’ (Routledge 2010).  He  leads a series of research projects on informal settlements, transit-oriented development and creative clusters. He has published critiques of the private shopping mall and is currently exploring urban design strategies for their redemption.


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