Victor Gruen and the birth of the shopping mall: How a displaced architect accidentally changed American cities

Victor Gruen

The Gruen Effect is a documentary directed by Anette Baldauf and Katharina Weingartner that looks into the life and work of architect Victor Gruen. Gruen is credited with inventing the shopping mall, but at the time he was planning some of the first “regional shopping centers,” he had no idea how the typology would evolve to shape american suburbia while gutting urban city centers. It distressed him to see the city city replaced by the shopping center, and once he realized what he had done, he was “heart broken.” The Gruen Effect is an excellent peak into his work and how it effects the way we use public space today. The documentary is about an hour long, so you have something to watch while you make models or pick up redlines.

August 16, 2012