Rahul Sharma

Gruen transfer

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Gruen transfer

In shopping mall design, the Gruen transfer (also known as the Gruen effect) is the moment when consumers enter a shopping mall and, surrounded by an intentionally confusing layout, lose track of their original intentions, making consumers more susceptible to make impulse buys. It is named for Austrian architect Victor Gruen, who disavowed such manipulative techniques.



The Gruen transfer is a psychological phenomenon in which an idealized hyper reality is realized by deliberate reconstruction, providing a sense of safety and calm through exceptional familiarity.

In a speech in London in 1978, Victor Gruen disavowed shopping mall developments as having "bastardized" his ideas: "I refuse to pay alimony for those bastard developments."


1952 – Dayton company commissioned Victor Gruen to build the first indoor, climate controlled shopping mall, Southdale Center, in Edina Minnesota.

1956 – Southdale Center Grand opening.

1960s onwards – Shopping malls became very popular as they were in many cases the only air-conditioned place in town. Many more shopping malls started opening using similar designs and were very popular until the 1990s.


Gruen transfer Wikipedia

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