As part of its 2022 advocacy theme, Docomomo US is launching “Mallitecture & Memories” a crowdsourcing campaign to gather data and collect stories of shopping malls. A staple of American society postwar, providing convenient access to domestic needs while offering social and cultural components, malls are more than just boxes with parking lots around them. In many cases they were carefully planned complexes with prominent architecture firms designing them. Malls distinguished themselves with unique characteristics such as art, sculpture, atriums, fountains, seating areas, and more. They served as the backdrop for notable events such as presidential visits, protests, and movie locations.
Although current trends are pivoting away from the traditional use of shopping malls, these massive structures and the landscapes they occupy deserve a closer look. “It is critical that we begin to analyze what is left, what is historic, what we should save, for whom malls were built, and their role in promoting both segregation and assimilation in American society,” explained Docomomo US Executive Director Liz Waytkus.
With the “Mallitecture and Memories” initiative, Docomomo US is asking individuals to submit basic historical information as well as personal memories of malls they are familiar with. Submissions will be accepted through December of 2022. Docomomo US and its chapters and partners will use the collected data to inform future mall advocacy efforts.
Learn more about the “Mallitecture and Memories and access the submission form.
“Mallitecture & Memories,” Docomomo US, February 18, 2022.