Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

Media Studies

Reader 1

Kasper Kovitz

Reader 2

T. Kim-Trang Tran

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2020 Julia Drooff


Earlier this year, the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the demise of the Great American Mall by forcing temporary and permanent closures across the country. The low-end malls that remain are dealing with crippling debt and the closing of key department stores like JC Penney and Neiman Marcus[1]. With only super-luxury malls thriving, many of the standard malls set up in the eighties are just abandoned parts of a community. So, what should happen to these abandoned malls? And what role does that space now play in the post-pandemic community? Since malls began to shut-down pre-Covid-19 did the need for community interaction spaces simply just go away? These questions underline a reimagining of the Great American mall and its role as a community space.

Throughout this project I explore the evolution of the community marketplace as I propose a redesign of an abandoned community mall in Landover, Maryland. My design references post-pandemic design practices as defined by new research released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC)[2] and the American Institute of Architects (AIA)[3] . Using an experimental approach, I challenge the idea of a traditional American mall by creating a model of an eco-friendly marketplace. My two- and three-dimensional visual representations are the culmination of my community studies through local media coverage and interviews with residents and stakeholders. This theoretical redesign promotes the development of imaginative visual representations which can inspire communities to build structures that support healthy recreation and socialization. In this way, visionary design can spur social change within a community.

Link to Image Gallery