Making Leisure Work: Architecture and the Experience Economy, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Making Leisure Work

Architecture and the Experience Economy, 1st Edition

By Brian Lonsway


272 pages

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Contemporary architecture of theme-based design is examined in this book, leading to a new understanding of architecture's role in the increasingly diversified consumer environment. It explores the ‘Experience Economy’ to reveal how everyday environments strategically and opportunistically blur our leisure, work, and personal life experiences.

Considering scientific design research, consumer psychology, and Hollywood story-telling techniques, the book looks at how the design of theme parks, casinos, and shopping malls has influenced our more unexpectedly themed spaces, from the city to the hospital.

Widely taking architecture as a social practice, this text is of relevance to all cultural and sociological studies in the built and material environment.


'Making Leisure Work is a work of uncommon seriousness and impeccable scholarship. Refracting Pine and Gilmore's The Experience Economy through the lens of Certeau's conceptualization of everyday spatial production, Brian Lonsway makes a convincing case for elevating architectural theory to a central place in interpreting themed environments and experiences. Highly recommended for graduate and upper level undergraduate seminars in architecture, consumer studies, cultural anthropology, leisure studies and urban sociology.' - John Hannigan, University of Toronto (Author of Fantasy City: Pleasure and Profit in the Postmodern Metropolis)

'Brian Lonsway has created a welcomed addition to the literature on the politics of space and meaning. He maps out a range of issues in a way that challenges traditional interpretations of themed architecture while providing an important critical framework for engaging the built environment.' - Cities, Volume 26, 2009

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: Stories about our Themed Environment 1. Work, Leisure, and the Architectural Everyday 2. The Narration of Everyday Experience 3. Space, Semiotics, and Scientism Part 2: The Experience of Experience 4. Extreme Narrative 5. Différant Myths 6. Entertainment Capacity 7. The Experience of a Lifestyle Part 3: Narrative Agitations 8. Telling Practices 9. Juridical Opinion 10. Happy Potties and other Alternative Narratives

About the Author

Brian Lonsway is Associate Professor at the Syracuse University School of Architecture, USA. He is an architectural theorist and technology researcher whose work is invested in the evolving relationships between design technologies and spatial thought.

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