Hybrid Retail: Rethinking the Urban Public by Embracing the Digital Experience
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Commerce has been regarded as the engine of urbanity, and shopping is said to be arguably the last remaining form of public activity. If this is so, the added phenomenon of increased traction of retail in the digital space can allude that truly public areas, especially in the urban context, face endangerment. This translation towards eCommerce would undeniably impact the urban landscape, as the behaviour of human exchange, and therefore retail consumption, has shifted to be less physical, or requiring less physical space. However, a public space for all is not exclusively confined to the physical. By studying the relationship between the physical and digital realms of shopping, their spatial impacts, and the trends of and towards consumerism, this thesis attempts to develop a hybrid intervention where inhabitants are connected with their sense of place through heightened experience of the intrinsic activity of consumption in a progressively metropolitan context.