PART III: EXPLORING ART IN VARIOUS PLACES
CHAPTER 1: MALLS
SM Megamall: Semiotics, Proxemics and Phenomenon1
Ma. Cecilia Tuble
No matter what happens in the world of human beings, it happens in a spatial setting, and the design of that setting has a deep and persistent influence on the people in that setting.
– Edward T. Hall, The Hidden Dimension
Traditionally, architecture was viewed as a passive expression of a culture or society’s beliefs, experiences and aspirations; as monuments of the Zeitgeist spirit of the age; or testament to a particular artist/architect’s vision or genius. There is, however, a growing awareness of how architecture, particularly its space, signifies, organizes, and determines social structures and relations. This alternative view is called Proxemics, which the anthropologist
Edward T. Hall defines as “the interrelated observation and theories of man’s use of space as a specialized elaboration of culture.”
In this paper, SM Megamall is studied, not so much in its formal or stylistic aspects, but in its semiotic and proxemic aspects. Emphasis is placed on space, following Hall’s assertion that “spatial experience is not just visual, but multisensory.” Furthermore, the building will also be studied as a phenomenon, in context of its larger sociohistorical setting.
SM Megamall solves the problems in interior lay-out and in maximum use of space encountered in the earlier SM City (North Edsa). Megamall (opened June 28, 1990) is a long, enormous six-level structure pierced at the ground level by an auxiliary road. SM City also has a large area space, but it is composed of three separate buildings: the Main, the Carpark and the Annex. The Megamall, however, has greater visual impact because its two
Buildings A and B are built in one long line and are actually connected in 5 of its 6 levels. Outside, the 5 two