Lectures 2006
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"Architecture of the shop front or the 'shop front' of architecture" Aliki Kilika


This essay is a critical view on the whole of modern architecture. Man is set as the central reference of the actions at each historical moment. Regarding the social and political situation today, modern architecture is judged, as a social science, on its influence on each person, and the whole of society in general.

An important aspect of the architectural design of stores and shop-fronts is the economy and especially the profit. The analysis focuses on the equalisation of the consumers’ identity with that of the ‘shop-front’, inside a shop.

Considering the spirit of our times, the dominance of economy in all aspects of every day life, the architecture of the shop-front is understood in general terms to have similarities with the whole of modern architecture. In this general view are some of the subjects that interest today’s architecture being examined: its relation with the image and advertisement, and the possibilities and changes that appear with the use of technology and the modern methods of architectural design and production.

Finally, the evolution of modern western cities, as being the space where architecture is applied, and the way life is realised within them, are being reached.

Realising the part that modern cities play in building the identity of the person and the society in general, the role of the architect and of architecture today are being pursued and doubted.

Key-words that are used in the essay are:


  • Image:  two-dimensional representation as met in the comercial tabloids of the street, in the shop-fronts, in the magazine pictures, in the computer or television screen.
  • ‘Image’: the non-material kind of representation, which enacts in our spirit and sense in a way that refers to or is produced in our fantasy.
  • Advertisement: the presentation of a product (thing, idea, space) aiming to its promotion, sell or acceptance.
  • Shop-front: the additional showcase or design of a store aiming on the advertisement of the space and therefore its products.
  • ‘Shop-front’: the synthesis of the identity of a person or element, in a material or non-material way, which goals to the reproduction or production of an ‘image’.