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Dancing with the Devil. A creative approach to the revitalization of the shopping mall.

posted on 18.11.2022, 03:28 authored by Bianca Hau

The rising concerns about the commodification of culturewere addressed by the Frankfurt School after WWI. By the1970s issues of ‘the culture industry’ had become prevalent inmainstream architectural theory (Horkheimer and Adorno).

Although the concerns have been accepted in architecturalculture, they are still heavily impactful today. The increasingcontrol of corporate forces in our cities is resulting in whatwe might call the ‘blanding’ of urban spaces. The voice ofthe architect has been suppressed, in favour of generic andoften boring buildings. Cities are at risk of becoming devoidof character and beginning to lack the visual richness thatconnects people to the places they inhabit. How mightreviving the architect’s creative voice counter these forces?

What implications could my own creative impulses have ona city? How might the idiosyncrasies of my own practiceenhance urban spaces? I identified my intuitive impulsesthrough a variety of unconstrained design experimentsand an iterative reflective loop. This led to the developmentof an architectural language that was rendered out in therevitalization of Porirua’s main shopping mall. The completedhybrid building exudes a playfulness that is vibrant, active,and different from the contemporary city. It explores thepotential of a more expressive urban form that energisesthe community and resists the ‘blanding’ of cities.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

Victoria University of Wellington Unit

Centre of Building Performance Research

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

130103 The creative arts

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

4 Experimental research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


Kebbell, Sam