Production Consumption Interchange

How could shopping centres provide social spaces that encourage reflective consumption?

Globalisation increased the length of production chains, resulting in a disconnection between producer and consumer. Farmers markets, community gardens, and local brand preferences are examples of an emerging consumer shift to local production, especially through food. However these models are alternative, expensive and isolated from mainstream shopping centres, which offer convenience and choice.  Shopping centres have also become socialising and entertainment spaces.

How could shorter production and consumption chains could be organised architecturally within shopping centres?  Today’s shopping centres are integrated- there is no connection to production whilst shopping and socialising takes place at the same time in the same space. “PCI” separates these activities by creating distinct areas of consumption (shopping) and socialising (public space), and incorporates production using industrialised urban agriculture.

Whilst the areas are distinctly separate there are some places where the activities overlap. The production space keeps young fragile plants (taken from cuttings) separate until they are more robust.  As the crop matures,  it is moved into the public space and grows there until harvest. The resulting produce is sold in the shopping centre, and other outputs are used elsewhere within the building. Resources for the plants are harvested from the building, and the aeroponic plant infrastructure physically connects the production, public and consumption spaces, while providing the buildings’ services.

Within the design the public space is privileged over consumption space and becomes somewhat like a park. However at times the public space and consumption space also integrate. This occurs when consumption is more social or directly linked to production: cinemas, farmers markets, communal kitchens are examples of this.

“PCI” encourages more awareness on the part of consumers, attempting to change shopping practices and integrating urban food production with a mall environment.

Key Research Sources

  • The Omnivore’s Dilemma’ – Michael Pollen, 2006 Bloomsbery Publishing – Aeroponic Growing Information
  • ‘Shopping Centres in Australia – Vital Statistics’ Shopping Centre Council of Australia,
  • The Architectural Brain’ – Mark Wigley, Network Practices – New Strategies in Architecture and Design, Princeton Architectural Press 2007
  • Willing consumers—or locked-in? Policies for a sustainable consumption’ – Christer Sanne – Urban Studies, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), S-10044, Stockholm, Sweden, 2002
  • West Side Convergence; urban processes [New York]’ – Jesse Reiser & Nanako Umemoto – Architectural design, vol. 70, no. 3, pp. 78-89, June 2000


Lochlan Sinclair




Consuming 2032

Studio Leader

Rexroth Mannasmann Collective
Kirsty Fletcher and Brenton Weisert