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Training the Aesthetics
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Architecture. (Spatial Analysis and Design (SAD))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7089-4244
2012 (English)In: Nordic Fashion Studies / [ed] Peter McNeil, Louise Wallenberg, Stockholm: Axl Books, 2012, 309-330 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Excerpt from the introduction by Peter McNeil:

(pp. xxiv-xxv)

The anthology concludes with a provocative essay by Daniel Koch, “Training the Aesthetics”. Koch, who has written a masterful PhD analyzing the architectural space of Åhléns department store, Stockholm City, aims to investigate “the matter of consumption choices, and to raise the question of how expert judgement communicates with and within populist quality judgement”. He argues that “one of the primary roles of retail architecture is that of performing aesthetic training, or perhaps education in taste”. Using wide-ranging theory drawn from art theory, philosophy, spatial theory and literature, Koch argues that a series of profound staging effects are enacted in entering a department store. Fashion is interrogated as akin to representative art, a subject that requires “inherent rarity and value – suggesting taste”. His is a useful corrective to the idea that fashion is democratic today. Not at all, suggests Koch. The perusal and acquisition of fashion still operates within a system not dissimilar to entering a gallery space. Although the “bazaar” still exists, much contemporary fashion gains its charge from being displayed in austere spaces in to which untrained consumers can enter but not engage. In an important link back to Ane Lynge-Jorlén’s essay on niche magazine readership, Koch resists the cliché of shop as gallery or cathedral space. Rather, he focuses upon the products themselves: “it is figured first as a subject rather than a practice, and it is presented with a disinterest as to how the real clothes look, and especially how they would look in a “normal” situation. Presentation constantly takes forms reminiscent of both popular or high art practices”. In a strong statement that brings together the many strands contained in this book, Koch’s comment will conclude our anthology: “Meaning is relative to other spaces as well as other systems of meaning, such as the mediation of fashion through magazines, advertising, television and online blogs.”

Abstract [sv]

Training the Aesthetics behandlar frågan om hur 'modeexpertis' kommuniceras med och till konsumenter genom att iscensättas genom arkitektoniska situationer. Parallellt med ekonomiska drivkrafter uttrycker konsumtionsrum smak och estetik, och tränar därmed konsumenterna i detsamma. Vem är modet till för, hur skall man vara för att det skall passa, och var hör den man är hemma i smaksystemet? Den här träningen pågår ständigt och understöds av en diskurs som behandlar modebutiker som neutrala förmedlare genom försäljningsexpertis och mode som individuella val av individuella kläder som maskerar en bakomliggande estetisk, och därmed social, differentiering. Genom att istället studera konsumtionsrummet utifrån konstteori (platsspecik eller situationskonst), rumsteori, och modeteori växer en annan förståelse fram för vad som sker och vilken aktivitet modekonsumtion är i butiksmiljön.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Axl Books, 2012. 309-330 p.
Keyword [en]
architecture, fashion, aesthetics, taste, department store, gender, consumption, situated practice, mannequin, dressing room, consumption space
Keyword [sv]
arkitektur, mode, estetik, smak, varuhus, genus, konsumtion, situerad praktik, provrum, konsumtionsrum
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-90373ISBN: 9789197859899OAI: diva2:505186
QC 20120223Available from: 2012-02-23 Created: 2012-02-23 Last updated: 2012-02-23Bibliographically approved

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