- Living in imaginary places: on the creation and consumption of themed residential architecture
- Award date
- 8 February 2013
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This study deals with theming of residential space and architecture. In theoretical terms, theming is defined as the application of a narrative to places and the built environment to make them more appealing than they otherwise would be. In a broader sense it is argued that theming is related to an intensified commodification of places through which, in turn, the number of hyperspaces has been increased. While theming primarily has been applied to restaurants, shopping malls or theme parks, the production of new owner-occupied houses in the Netherlands has also been based more and more on theming since the 1990s. In a number of cases, a theme (like history or Mediterranean ambience) has been put into practice with enclosed urban forms, eye-catching architecture and figurative details. This dissertation explores how space has been created for theming at the political level and what are basically the characteristics of theming practice. Moreover, the thesis investigates how far theming informs residential choice and the day-to-day social practices of the ‘middle-class’ residents. It is argued that themed residential space and architecture seem to meet the desire of fractions of the middle classes to live in a predictable and small-scale environment where they hope to share daily life with like-minded people.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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