I recently had a tutorial with my tutor and showed him my spreadsheet analysing the colours of the shopping centre. Whilst he liked the idea of the investigation into retail environments and the way that colour was being used to quantify an experience, he believed that the colours shown from these images, as they were images pulled from the internet were more the colours of the internet rather than colours denoting the shopping centre experience. These colours didn’t quantify a single unified view or experience of the shopping centre as they were taken from multiple viewpoints, both for publicity and just as a document of retail architecture, with converging and arguably disagreeable intentions.
He suggested, instead of using secondary images, I should carry on with the premise of the investigation but instead visit the shopping centres myself, and take the images as documentation of my trips. I do agree that this may provide more successful outcomes, as I believe having a first hand experience will create a more rounded, and personal investigation as I have expended my own time travelling to these shopping centres, therefore have a more personal stake and tie to the data collected. In addition, I can take on the role of the investigator, much like in the work of Sophie Calle, personally looking into the environments themselves and having an experience in all of them. This will allow me to cast a critical eye over whether the intentions of each retail space are being met from the perspective of a shopper, allowing me to question: does this environment persuade me to consume? Does this environment provide a shopping experience or lesuire/destination one?
I will start with shopping centres near me such as The Oracle in Reading, and then travel to different shopping centres in the UK further away from home. I intend to document my process with images and writings describing the my experience within the space, and thus when I look at the colour grades each shopping centre produces I can link this to my distinct personal experience of the space.