There is a strong tension between localism or place and the overwhelming forces of globalism. We might say that in addition to living in the information age, that we find ourselves in the age of mass scale. We see it in pop culture, mass media, globalizing economies, and even in expanding bureaucratic governments.
There are certainly advantages that come with scaling up, including efficiency and tapping into previously unknown capabilities, but there are also cultural and social costs that come with orienting everything toward large scales. This becomes quite apparent when considering urbanism, architecture, and the ways in which we design our cities. And all the more tangible when examining the role storefronts play in our communities.
In this episode, Jeffrey Howard speaks with Jaime Izurieta. A town planner and urban designer by training, Jaime is the founder of Storefront Mastery, a creative agency that brings beauty to local economic development.
Put simply, Jaime helps local economies by creating the optimal setting for people to fall in love with their particular places. He advocates buying locally and designing cities around smaller nodes where he believes urban life actually happens, but he also acknowledges the fantastic power that larger scales can offer us. In this episode, he makes a case for placemaking and the benefits of local scale.
Now, how do we balance the advantages of mass scale with the unique benefits of having an eye toward the local? What is placemaking and why does fostering a sense of place matter so much? How will the pandemic change urban life?
The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton (2006)
“The Mental Disorders That Gave Us Modern Architecture” by Ann Sussman & Katie Chen (2017)
Cognitive Architecture: Designing for How We Respond to the Built Environment by Ann Sussman & Justin B. Hollander (2014)
Architecture: Choice or Fate by Léon Krier (2008)
The Timeless Way of Building by Christopher Alexander (1979)
The Architecture of the City by Aldo Rossi (1982)
Storefront Mastery Playbook by Jaime Izurieta (2020)
Storefront Design Guidebook by Jaime Izurieta (2020)