Exchange is at the core of public space. Whether trading products or sharing information, exchange between people produces social interactions and spatialized hubs of activity. Without exchange public spaces fail. Today, the Internet threatens older methods of spatialized exchange as people communicate through email, pay bills electronically, and shop online. These despatialized forms of exchange are having a damaging impact on previously functioning public spaces such as the post office and retail stores. Distribution centers, meanwhile, are thriving as product exchange points but they remain completely invisible and inaccessible to the customer. With the United States Postal Service in rapid decline, once monumental buildings will soon be abandoned. Taking advantage of the existing infrastructure of post offices, I am proposing a centrally located public distribution center; giving online companies a physical presence in the city, monumentalizing the currently despatialized market, and reintroducing the public to the exchange process.
English, Elena. "Manifesting Exchange." (2012) Master’s Thesis, Rice University. https://hdl.handle.net/1911/64599.