Spatial experience and the instruments of architectural theory

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter


A century ago, this-or at least its cruder ancestor-was called “avocational education.” A concept following Frederick taylor’s work on the scientific management of labor, avocational education describes the training of industrial laborers to structure their leisure time effectively so as not to exhaust them for their paid work. the demands of the work day were imposed on one’s time off work, effectively turning leisure time into a form of work support. through recreational classes, industrial propaganda, and a strategic reconsideration of recreational and leisure venues and events, avocational education became a popular form of building participatory hegemony. As the retail and service sectors of the economy grew through the first half of the twentieth century, avocational education became a fundamental tenet of business management; consumption, properly conducted, fit nicely into the category of appropriate leisure time expenditure.1 As the consumer landscape increased in breadth and complexity, retailers felt that consumers themselves required training to structure their lives to best prepare them to consume. Avocational education methods were expanded to address the consumer at work as well as the laborer at leisure, and marketers quickly embraced the propaganda and social controls of the industrialist to promote consumption of goods and services. Experiencing closure, thus, is not far from its early-twentieth-century roots. It just pushes it into a slightly more extreme dimension: that of the experience economy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationUse Matters
Subtitle of host publicationAn Alternative History of Architecture
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781134661596
ISBN (Print)9780415637329
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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