Sunday, November 14, 2010

Interesting Facts: #6

"The Gruen Transfer is named after Victor Gruen, the guy who designed the very first shopping mall. The term describes that split second when the mall's intentionally confusing layout makes our eyes glaze and our jaws slacken... the moment when we forget what we came for and become impulse buyers."
The Gruen Transfer website

Victor Gruen. born Viktor Grunbaum (1903-1980), was an Austrian-born commercial architect best known for his pioneer designs of shopping malls in the United States. His mall design innovations included enticing storefronts with mini-arcades at the entrances to entice customers into the shop’s space , whereupon eye level displays would draw them further into the store. This was coupled with the use of music. They were dubbed “mousetraps” for customers. Two years before his death he disavowed other shopping mall developments as having "bastardised" his ideas.

Nonetheless his ideas and designs have given rise to the term Gruen Transfer, the moment when consumers respond to "scripted disorientation" cues in the shopping mall environment. This term was adopted as the name of the Australian TV program which discusses the methods, science and psychology behind advertising.

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