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Understanding the transformative power of consumption on architecture and city: two phases of Atakule

Türkyılmaz Bilgiç, Elvan Hazal
As from the beginning of the 20th century, production and consumption patterns have been changing depending upon the transformations of industry, production patterns, and capitalism. As a consequence of these transformations, the economic emphasis has shifted from production to consumption remarkably, and this shift did not only transform the economic structure but also led social and cultural disciplines to adopt a consumption-oriented perspective. Under the influence of late capitalist development, the phenomenon of consumption has become one of the main determinants for the formation of social and cultural life. Today, the increasing sovereignty of the consumption still transforms the cultural and physical structure of today’s cities from macro to micro scale, through the agency of architecture. The main intention of this research is to grasp the extent of the relationship established by the phenomenon of consumption with the architecture and the city; and to understand the transformative power of this relationship on spatial production. Therefore, in order to explore the background of this transformation process, this study employs shopping mall typology due to the fact that it represents the aforementioned economic, social and cultural transformations and has become one of the main constituents of urban fabric as well as being the main locus of consumption activity. As a domain of the study, the transformation process of a distinctive case, Turkey’s second and Ankara’s first shopping mall Atakule, is going to be analyzed in order to draw an outline about the transformative power of the notion of consumption on architectural practice.