“I Shop Therefore I Am”: Negotiating the Phantasmagoria of Consumption

Student | Ziyi Cui
Faculty | Alison B. Snyder
Interior Design, Graduate

Informed by a desire to critique the waste and superabundance of capitalist consumer culture, this thesis project challenges the socio-cultural condition resulting from global hyper-consumerism.

Based on the vision that shopping activity can stimulate a sustainable caring community and possibly alter people’s behavior and ideology, an adaptable mixed-use marketplace was developed to explore a dialogue between second-hand flexible shopping mechanisms, actions of “prosuming”, and providing a space for a public forum to take place.

The Central Adaptable Space contains two layers of adaptable frames (pivoting or sliding
partitions and double-height curtains) to adjust the central area of the marketplace for different functional needs, where shopping activities are rethought to become a fusion of donating, learning, innovating, provoking, and uniting.
On South 3rd Street, it is where the cafe pops out of the facade to have a visual interaction with the street.
After entering the lobbies, changeable billboard-sized slogans are applied to bring people in and generate visual Impacts.
The secondary lobby is an alternative entrance for specific events when the main entrance is
temporarily closed for circulation need.
A public community space is mixed with an economically-based production and series of artist spaces as part of the mixed-use program.
Passersby will see artists turning recycled materials into artworks and be attracted into the market while walking down the street.