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Shoppers visit malls for a number of reasons. Some people go to a mall with a specific purchase in mind, and others go to see what's new in fashion. Furthermore, others go there to admire the scenery. Any of them goes there to fulfill his or her needs, whether it is to buy goods or to browse around for potential future purchases. Malls are infamous for wasting the time of both young and old people. Teenagers go there to make mates away from their homes, while the elderly go there to avoid isolation at home. Many malls are designed to keep off idlers and facilitate quick buying for high turnover for the shopping mall business. Mall owners aim to accommodate the highest number of customers possible. “Physically, malls are designed for high turnover. Chairs and benches in rest areas and food courts are unpadded in the seat to make them uncomfortable when sat in for too long…The corridors are wide and filled with hurrying customers.” (Lewis 305). All these designs are meant to facilitate smooth flow of customer traffic, with no chance of relaxation and comfort to customers.
Another way in which mall design is uncomfortable their vast and expansive nature which leads to a feeling of isolation and a place which discourages socialization. Many malls are monolithic and imposing in nature which makes them look like ‘walled cities’. It seems that there is a deliberate attempt by the architects to keep shoppers inside for the longest time possible, with a scheme of making them spend as much money as possible. There are minimal or no aesthetic designs on walls so as not to distract customers psyche. This isolates a shopper from the ‘outside world’ (Guterson 453)
Guterson, David. The Mall as a Prison. Laurence Behrens and Leonard J. Rosen. New York: Pearson Longman, 2008., pp. 450-457
Lewis, George. The Mall as Refuge. 305
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