Blog 3-Una Hayes: Milan, Italy.

Una Hayes – 113473918

The third and final blog focuses upon the influences from consumption, leisure and tourism research which has drawn geographers to turn increasingly to leisure in urban spaces. In relation to architecture, geographic researchers have focused almost exclusively on the shopping mall as the main site by which postmodern spaces of consumption are affected most conspicuously by architectural design. This blog enables me to draw upon the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II which is situated in the heart of Milan, where we were lucky enough to visit a past of our geography trip last year.


(Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II The ‘Dome’)

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a rather impressive building, as its dimensions form a Latin cross. These four walkways meet at an octagonal central piazza underneath a very large glass dome. The Galleria’s architecture symbolises Italian unity and self-confidence  and this is shown in its beautifully decorated arcade of patriotic symbols. Colourful mosaics are embedded onto the floor below the dome, which resemble a wolf for Rome, a lily for Florence and a white flag with a red cross for Milan. Architectural geographers fuse together material-historical and symbolic analyses of shopping malls to prove that the shopping mall operates as a complete environment where people can live out leisure fantasies. The physical structure of the mall, its controlled atmosphere and visual references to fantasy landscapes are designed to subtly and not-so-subtly persuade consumers to buy.


(Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, facades and structures)

The intricate architecture of the facades, situated below the glass roof of the arcade, honour Italian artists and scientists. Due to it’s outstanding presence and architecture, along with holding the world’s most upscale stores, the Galleria is constantly crowded with people both tourists who come to window shop and the richest of the rich who come to splurge. During the years 1865 and 1877 when it was being built the urban architectures and urban geographers obviously envisioned the value of alternative, artistic and ironic interventions into urban space which attempt to subvert the consumerist and undemocratic cities through which global capitalism operates today.


  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, (2015) ‘A View on Cities’ Victor Emanuele II Gallery, pp. 1-2
  • Kraftl, P. (2009) ‘Urban Architecture’ International Encyclopaedia of Human Geography, pp. 24-31


Tomas Creagh Blog: 3 Innovations and the Liberation of the Traditional Role of the Housewife

 Innovations and the Liberation of the Traditional Role of the Housewife  

                                 Tomas Creagh: 112406628                                                



                        Figure: 1 Typewriter, Patented 1868 by Christopher Latham Sholes(Tomas Creagh 14-11-15)



 Figure: 2 Microwave, Invented in 1946, (Tomas Creagh 14-11-15)



       Figure: 3 Dishwasher, Gained Popularity in the 1950’s, (Tomas Creagh 14-11-15)


  Figure: 4 Automatic Washing Machine, Introduced by Bendix in 1937, (Tomas Creagh 14-11-15)


In the advent of industrialisation and consequent urbanisation which swept throughout the Western World in the 19th and 20th centuries women’s role in society gradually changed. The role of Women in society changed from essentially domestic servitude to one independence and self reliance. Technological innovations in both the domestic and work environments greatly influenced these changes. In figure: 1 we can see a picture of a typewriter, the typewriter was to become a game changer when it came to Women in the workplace. “But the typewriters introduction into the hitherto all-male office space served as the symbolic pivot around which the feminization of secretarial labour took place. In the space of thirty years, women came to make up 95% of the clerical and secretarial labour force.” 1. (Jain, 2006). As we can see the typewriter brought a significant number of women into the workforce in the mid to early 20th and brought female dominance to the secretarial field thus setting precedence for future female participation in the workplace. The proliferation of domestic housekeeping appliances in the post WW2 era is probably one of the great turning points in the liberation of the traditional housewife and increased female participation in the labour force. Figures: 2, 3 and 4 are examples of such appliances which drastically reduced the amount of time and labour it took to complete traditional housework thus giving Women of the era extra time off therefore allowing them to take up employment. While the nature of the invention of these appliances may not have been the liberation of women from domestic servitude that is a role which they have certainly fulfilled.



Jain, S. S. (2006). Injury: The Politics of Product Design and Safety Law in the United States. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.



Shopping For Material

Robynne O’Sullivan: 113354836

Going to your city centre and finding anything you could possibly want from a wedding dress to a turtle is not a challenging thought but shopping wasn’t always that simple. The 1940’s saw a big advance in convenience for Irish residents. Before that shops were mainly small, family-run businesses but now Ireland started seeing department stores for the first time.

The first

blackpool-frontBlackpool Shopping centre, Cork 2015


Mahon Point shopping centre, Cork 2015

Dunnes Stores opened up in Cork city during the 1940’s. It was just drapery until becoming a grocery store in the 1960’s. It was revolutionary and still very popular today as its somewhere you can go and get everything you need without having to go to other shops. Even Patrick street in general has greatly evolved with such a variety of shops compared to the early 1900’s. Even with other department stores like Debenhams and Brown Thomas, Dunnes still thrives as it has the grocery aspect that most don’t.


Shopping has come even further with the creation of shopping malls. In Cork alone we have numerous shopping centres in WIlton, Blackpool, Mahon Point, Merchants Quay, Douglas etc. It has made shopping even more convenient. They are like giant department stores. You are in a sheltered area with all the shops you can possibly need, with most of these centres having a food court also. It allows you to have the convenience of a department store but get the full day out experience while having a roof over your head at all times. This is definitely more practical than what was seen in earlier times in Cork with markets being a huge part of the retail experience, but with our unpredictable weather, outdoor shopping can be disastrous.


Overall shopping has come along way for our convenience, with everything we want being under the same roof and services being available, such as parking or elevators to get to other floors or some even having a child minding facility for a stress-free experience.


  •,. ‘Shops In Ireland’. N.p., 2015. Web. 1 6 Nov. 2015.
  •,. ‘Retailers | Cork Past & Present’. N.p., 2015. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.

Material culture: The cinema. Matthew Keating 112411268

Matthew Keating 112411268

In this blog entry I will look at the role of the cinema in material culture and how the cinema has developed in time through a the process of modernity.

The cinema was a revelation in its time. The ability to capture scenes onto a film through a camera and display them to large audiences allowed for people to see the world from their home towns.


The Savoy Cork (Keating, November 2015)

The savoy as photographed above has been transformed to suit the new modern life of cork city. Recently renovated it is home to one of Corks top nightclubs as well as many popular shops. However in 1920 this was a much different place. A restaurant with a big reputation in cork, The Savoy was the place to be. Home to the wealthiest and best dressed, it even had its own little orchestra to play music for patrons as they ate.

The Savoy opened as an entertainment centre in 1932 and had been developed to be able to show movies and hold concerts. This grand arena became a second home to the people of cork as they gathered to watch films together.

It was however The Coliseum which was the first purpose built cinema in Cork. Unlike The Savoy, which showed lo-key films, The Coliseum which opened in 1913, was home to the newest movie releases. The theatres were plush and people came in their droves to watch films together. Cinemas became a place of visual consumption where one person could share their ideas with the world, through a screen.


The Coliseum, not known as the Leisureplex (Keating, November 2015)

Other cinemas which emerged in Cork included the Lido cinema in Blackpool, the Everyman Palace which occasionally screened films and the Capitol cinema at the top of Washington Street along the Grand Parade.

The idea of the cinema was a modern one and is evident in our time. The Gate Multiplex on North Main Street, The Reel Cinema Blackpool, The Omniplex Mahon Point and Cineplex Douglas are all modern cinemas with the latest digital and 3D technology. They continue to be a social hub for young and old, and have developed their own elements of modernity, by locating near shopping centres, coffee shops and restaurants alike. The Capitol Cinema is also soon to be renovated and transformed into a shopping centre.


Entrance to Omniplex Cinema, Mahon Point Shopping Centre                                (Keating, November 2015)



The Reel Cinema, Blackpool Retail Park (Keating, November 2015)




The Lido Cinema, Watercourse Road Blackpool (Keating, November 2015)


Cineplex, Douglas (Keating, November 2015)


The Capitol Cinema, Cork City (Keating, November 2015)



All images are my own.


McSweeney, John. 2003. The Golden Age of Cork Cinemas. Cork: Rose Arch Publications.


Una Hayes-Blog 2: Picturing the the City – Paris during the 1920’s.

By the end of the 19th and early 20th century, Paris was considered the place to be! The atmosphere was one of pomp and ceremony despite the fact that the world was between two great wars. (Samuel, 2013) Due to influences from all over the world, the Parisian populations mentalities and ways of living were revolutionised and the people of Paris adopted a new, more modern lifestyle. The most considerable social change was known as the feminine emancipation. The majority of women were alone during the War and it moulded their status within the society, women learned to live in accordance to their aspirations and how to deal with responsibilities. (Rohan, 2012)

‘The Café’ ( 1750 x 1223)


In the past Paris was known as the centre of women’s fashion where new trends are brought to life and die, however, this is still true to the present day. Changes in fashion were important in the 1980s due to the fact that they resembled changes in society, particularly women’s changing roles within Paris. According to Parisian fashion designers, a more active, involved, equal woman deserved clothing to suit that lifestyle. (Burch M, 2010)

‘Paris Metro’ (

‘1920 Braniff’ (

Changes during the 1920’s in Paris not only effected the city’s women and fashion, but a change in transportation was also beginning to occur. A renowned French civil engineer, known as Fulgence Bienvenue designed the Parisian Metro order to assist with the city’s traffic congestion in the Spring of April 1896. Construction began in November 1898 and the first line of the metro was put into place on July 19th 1900. The proposed ten lines of the route were then completed by 1920. (, 2015)  By the end of the First World War, not only were there a large number of aviators without anything to do but there were many airplanes left idle. In the early 1920’s flight began to become a sport, and it also encouraged aviators to push the limits of flight, such as transatlantic flights. By August 1919, Aircraft Transport & Travel commenced its aeroplane service from London to Paris and the French aviation system had officially begun. (Holland, 2013)


Student number-113473918