The Democratization of Design
The prevalence of design programs on television has helped elevate the notion of design in the public consciousness. People are becoming more aware of the importance of design and the possibilities it has to offer, including at the level of the community. Once viewed as the exclusive domain of the affluent, good design has now become a community expectation.
Retail centers have the potential to become an integral part of people’s everyday lives and help connect communities together. A radical shift needs to happen to move away from the generic design of neighborhood shopping centers that result in physical and cultural isolation. Pini argues that "the role of the local shopping center has had to grow and evolve to take on the role of the suburb’s town square. The shopping center is becoming the community lounge room, dining room, and backyard." Ultimately, Pini says, "Design which reflects its community will be the solution."
HDR Principal and National Director of Retail and Mixed-Use Susanne Pini and Fraser Property General Manager – Retail Development Joanna Russell discuss how the ‘democratization of design’ is impacting retail center design.