Museum of Modern Shopping (MoMS) is a para-museum and platform for conversation and collaboration on issues relating to the architecture – both physical, virtual, social, economic and psychological – of shopping. MoMS is a project by artist Laura Yuile.
Throughout 2022 MoMS presented a series of discussions, exhibitions, events, workshops and podcasts that explored the politics and design of retail and how it shapes our urban and online landscapes; our communities and our social identities.
MoMS was resident through 2022 in Romford Shopping Hall: a 95 year old shopping centre that houses independent businesses, some of whom have been there for a very long time and many of whom are family run. MoMS has since moved out and currently has no permanent physical space.
Some questions MoMS is thinking about:
— If physical retail spaces are increasingly sitting empty due to the continued shift towards online models of consumption, how might we reclaim or repurpose these spaces? Does the use of what has come to be known as ‘meanwhile space’ simply play into cynical governmental placemaking schemes geared towards strategies of gentrification?
— How does an algorithmic architecture of filter bubbles and sponsored ads shape what gets our attention and our money, as well as what is designed? How can we effect this algorithmic architecture in order to design more responsible consumption?
— How can we develop new models of value and exchange that do not rely on these fast-paced cycles of waste and obsolescence? How can we gain better control over what we buy, what it’s made of and where it comes from?
— How can we address wasteful and exploitative patterns of production and consumption without shifting blame onto individuals, or ignoring the socioeconomic barriers faced by many?