The temporary and typological potential for new interaction and publicness

Han, Jiawen and Zhang, Zixuan; (2022) The temporary and typological potential for new interaction and publicness. In: Annual Conference Proceedings of the XXVIII International Seminar on Urban Form. University of Strathclyde Publishing, Glasgow, pp. 1088-1098. ISBN 9781914241161

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As a portable typology, pop-up stores appeared in China in 2006 and quickly spread to increase opportunities for meeting up and growing fashion and brand activities. Most are located in the interior of shopping centres or on streets with retail shops. However, they are generally not considered as public spaces or as positive urban elements. Residents and urban agencies are inclined to perceive them to be temporary and purely functional places that serve commercial interests and lack social and spatial possibilities. This research, first, aims to provide a classification of the typologies of pop-up stores through a literature review and a field survey in Shanghai. Through the observation and documentation of people's behaviours in selected pop-up stores, the research explores whether such shops’ temporality, their limitations regarding times of operation, and their spatial configurations have affected people's interactions and activities. We argue that they concurrently offers a new sense of publicness among people immersing themselves in these spaces and places inside and outside pop-up stores depending on their location. In addition, it innovates and advances the understanding of these portable commercial areas by considering their social dimensions and relation to the larger context. This research further investigates how the temporality and flexible needs of the spaces have influenced their design. By studying Shanghai's pop-up stores as representational, the study aims to shed light on the design strategies of retail pop-up stores to strengthen the positive impact of new publicness brought by such innovative temporary public spaces.

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