The Retail and Entertainment Committee (REC) fosters the creation, discussion, and dissemination of knowledge about the retail and entertainment environments among practitioners, clients, retailers, and the general public to advance the practice and improve the quality of retail and entertainment environments.
We have identified three principal areas of focus:
Retail and Community. How does retail and entertainment architecture create and affect a sense of community? What is the relationship between design solutions and sociological or anthropological responses? What should communities look for in good retail design? Can we identify successful examples of retail architecture where the retail has created a sense of place and identity for a community? We need to look for identifiable and repeatable elements that produced that effect. Highlight retail architects' (particularly AIA architects') role in helping to create successful and livable communities through their retail design solutions, and use those examples to support advocacy of a higher quality of retail design.
Retail and Sustainability. There is both a need and an opportunity to inform and guide the development of sustainability programs both through our members' knowledge and experience and through outside research. We need to be a part of developing sustainable guidelines for this design type. To do that, we need to know what is currently being done, what works and what does not, and how greater sustainability (including, but not limited to, USGBC LEED ratings) can be designed into retail solutions. Possible relationships with university initiatives (such as the Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture's Intelligent Workplace) could identify sustainable options for retail design. We need to identify examples of sustainable design in retail and to gather knowledge from our members that can be consolidated into recommendations for other organizations such as USGBC to inform their guidelines, improve our members' ability to offer sustainable options, and highlight the AIA’s leadership in creating sustainable environments.
Retail and the Marketplace. Retail architecture is highly influenced by the marketplace. Successful retail and entertainment architecture must be as much about successful business solutions as it is about "design." How does good retail or entertainment design add value to our clients? Does design matter in this design type? What constitutes "good" design? By engaging our members and allied organizations, we can identify or develop case studies of good design as good business, highlighting how and why design creates value for all of the players—retailers, developers, and the public.
To do this, we will:
Provide a forum for discussion about issues and best practices in the area of retail and entertainment architecture and urban design by actively engaging members of the Institute as well as allied professions and public officials. We will develop relationships with key organizations to facilitate this dialogue. We will provide a vehicle for the facilitation, documentation, and indexing of that dialogue for the use of everyone.
Provide examples of how high-quality retail design promotes more livable and sustainable communities through the creation of places that engender and reinforce a sense of community, to assist members and their clients in promoting high-quality retail design.
Promote the creation of new knowledge through selected research projects of particular interest and use to the retail design community.
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