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        Communications  and  Social  Relations   Assessment  3-­  Final  Publication             Group  Members-­‐  Sophie  Cooper,  Suzannah  Ahearn,  Eleanor  Marsh                            


ARTEFACT  #1   “Royal  Arcade”    

  Royal  Arcade,  home  to  fashion  houses  and  speciality  stores,  is  a  testament   to  an  existence  of  Melbourne  that  has  passed  away.  Despite  several   refurbishments,  the  Renaissance-­‐style  architecture  still  remains  from   1869.  In  1995  the  arcade  was  placed  on  the  Victorian  Heritage  Registry   (Royal  Arcade  n.d).  This  is  an  indication  that  the  arcade  remains  an  iconic   landmark  to  inner-­‐city  Melbourne,  but  it  has  found  this  position  difficult  to   maintain  for  some  years  now.  There  are  several  reasons  for  the  decline  of   the  arcade  in  Melbourne,  the  most  notable  being  the  rise  of  large-­‐scale   department  store  and  suburban  mall  shopping.  McCann  (1996)  notes  that   CBD  and  suburban  shopping  precinct  development  has  been  rife  in  recent   years,  due  to  politicians  and  developers  belief  that  this  is  imperative  in   maintaining  the  economic  practicality  of  the  city  as  well  as  maintaining   ‘fashionableness’.  


Arcades  were  brought  to  Melbourne  in  the  19th  century  as  the   manifestation  of  European  fashion,  and  were  praised  for  their  likeness  to   the  arcades  of  London  and  Paris  (McCann  1996).  McCann  describes  Royal   Arcade  as  once  being  an  ‘ornament  to  the  city  ’.  Arcades  housed  anything   from  fashion,  to  travel  agencies,  to  tobacco  and  personal  hygiene.  The   intimacy  and  personal  experience  of  this  ‘indoor  street’  shopping  acted  as   a  seclusion  for  women  from  the  outside  world  and  arcades  came  to   personify  consumerism  in  the  early  1990’s(Davison  2006).     However,  as  Architect  Dimity  Reed  comments,  in  the  late  1980’s  people   lost  interest  in  values  or  understanding  how  civilisation  functions,  all  they   saw  was  ‘money  and  cranes  in  the  sky’.  Retail  trade  in  Melbourne  had   undergone  and  continued  to  undergo  a  series  of  profound  changes.   Davison  attributes  this  to  the  rise  of  ‘new  technologies,  marketing   techniques,  social  and  economic  preferences,  architectural  styles  and   planning  philosophies’  which  ‘remade  the  physical  and  social  milieu  of   shopping’.     Shopping  malls  and  department  stores  simply  provided  more  choice,  and   were  more  efficient.  The  construction  of  an  extensive  rail  and  tram   network  spreading  out  to  the  suburbs,  created  a  constant  flow  of   commuter  traffic,  allowing  shopping  precincts  to  be  built  away  from  the   CBD.    The  advent  of  mass  car-­‐ownership  was  the  single  most  important   factor  in  the  rise  of  the  regional  shopping  mall  (Davison  2006).  Arcades   and  laneway  shopping  did  not  provide  weather  protection,  nor  did  they   offer  the  newfound  obsession  of  fast  food.  A  notable  observation  by   Davison  is  that  the  context  in  which  people  shop  has  come  to  be  seen  as  a   paradigm  of  how  the  modern  city  structures  broader  social  relationships.   Currently  we  are  witnessing  a  shift  in  the  culture  of  shopping,  back   towards  boutique  laneway  shopping  experiences.    


In  the  1980’s  the  arcade  underwent  refurbishment  to  ‘recreate  a  style  of   past  living  that  had  faded’  (McCann  1996).  The  Chairman  of  the  committee   overseeing  the  renovations  sought  for  customers  to  feel  valued,  rather   than  just  ‘another  ticket  on  the  cash  register’  (McCann  1996).  The  issue  of   architectural  taste  has  a  profound  impact  on  the  use  of  landmarks  such  as   the  Royal  Arcade,  and  attempts  at  updating  the  arcade  have  been  halted  by   the  fear  of  losing  the  original  foundations.  McCann  believes  that  it  is   possible  for  historical  sites  to  remain  in  an  era  of  rapid  change.  To   illustrate  this  he  points  to  the  success  at  preserving  the  Coop’s  Shot  Tower   in  Melbourne  Central  which  has  been  incorporated  into  the  contemporary   surrounding  structure.     ARTEFACT  #2   “Centre  Place”    

   


Centre  Place  is  a  narrow  laneway  that  runs  between  Flinders  Lane  and   Collins  Street.  It  is  a  characteristic  combination  of  tiny  cafes,  vibrant  bars   and  boutique  shops.  A  unique  spot  always  buzzing  with  people  hurrying  to   work  and  others  sitting,  chatting  and  eating  at  intimate  tables,  which  spill   out  onto  the  path  from  matchbox-­‐sized  restaurants.    As  you  look  left  up  the   alleyway  from  flinders  lane  the  wrought  iron  “Centre  Place”  sign,  written   in  cursive  script,  immediately  attracts  your  attention  to  the  quirky   alleyway.  As  you  begin  to  walk  up  the  path  you  notice  that  every  few   meters  there  is  a  new  brightly  coloured  sign,  a  subtle  change  in  the   outdoors  furniture  and  aroma  that  indicates  a  slight  change  in  menu  and   therefore  restaurant.     Italian  immigrants  first  introduced  Melbourne  to  coffee  after  the  First   World  War  (Frost  et  al.  2010).  However  Melbourne’s  coffee  culture   heritage  was  not  just  simply  imported  from  Italy,  as  food  historian  Michael   Symons  (2007)  stated;  Melbournians  have  “followed  the  Italians  in  making   espresso,  and  the  French  in  sitting  around  cafes’.”    Centre  Place,  like  some   other  laneways,  is  the  product  of  globalization  and  Melbournians  own   twist  on  European  cultures.  The  popularity  of  Centre  Place,  it  seems,  can   be  intrinsically  linked  to  its  success  in  creating  a  European  ambience  and   experience.  Melbourne  prides  itself  on  this,  as  a  high-­‐quality  coffee  culture   is  seen  as  an  attribute  for  a  city  to  require  in  order  for  it  to  seem   sophisticated  and  chic.     Melbourne’s  laneways  are  as  much  an  advertising  tool  as  they  are  a   cultural  part  of  Melbourne’s  identity.  Centre  place,  like  all  of  Melbourne’s   “grungy  chic”  laneways,  was  once  considered  the  slums  of  the  city   (Ferreter  et  al.  2008)  .Recent  changes  in  attitudes,  which  have  resulted  in   rejuvenating  and  embracing  the  laneways,  have  come  from  a  desire  for   Melbourne  to  appear  and  be  recognized  as  a  “global  city.”  This  is  evident  in   the  most  recent  advertising  campaign  “lose  yourself  in  Melbourne”  which  


depicts  Melbourne  as  being  a  destination  to  be  discovered  on  foot,  and   embraced  through  sophisticated  cuisine,  art,  popular  culture  and  fashion.   Melbourne  laneways  offer  a  unique  experience  and  Centre  Place  has  great   global  appeal  due  to  its  European  atmosphere  with  a  quirky  twist.  The  city   council  has  made  it  clear  that  the  plan  for  the  future  is  to  further  develop   the  network  of  lanes  to  enhance  the  reputation  of  Melbourne  for  its  café   culture  as  well  as  market  the  city  as  the  laneway  capital  of  Australia   (Ferreter  et  al.  2008).     It  could  be  said  that  in  an  age  where  technology  has  removed  the  need  for   interpersonal  communication,  that  café  culture  represents  one  of  the  few   remaining  opportunities  for  public  sociability.  (J  Montgomery  1997)  The   social  atmosphere  of  cafes  and  restaurants  is  being  even  further   implemented  through  the  use  of  communal  rather  than  individual  tables.   Centre  Place  creates  many  opportunities  for  this  through  its  variety  of   treasures  that  create  a  truly  “Melbourne”  experience  which  has  plenty  of   “global”  appeal.     ARTEFACT  #3   “Waffle  On”              


The  ‘Waffle  On’  French  café  with  attached  waffle  stall  is  located  in  the   inner  city  popular  laneway,  Degraves  St.    Degraves  St.  and  the  adjoining   laneways  are  a  prominent  tourist  attraction  in  Melbourne  and  are  ‘where   Melbourne’s  love  affair  with  coffee  explores  its  roots  in  the  many   European  inspired  cafes.’(Hewitt,  2009)   ‘Waffle  On’  opened  in  July  2003  and  is  situated  next  to  the  underground   entrance  to  Flinders  St  Station,  the  stalls  receive  a  constant  flow  of  hungry   commuters.  There  is  street  graffiti  surrounding  the  cafe,  its  style  and  set   up  create  a  Parisian  street  cafe  atmosphere.  ‘Waffle  On’  with  its  French   staff  and  Fresh  baguettes  conveys  an  authentically  French  character.  The   owner  Marc  Laucher  and  his  staff  are  known  for  constantly  speaking  in   French  to  their  customers,  this  inherently  is  part  of  the  appeal  as  it   transforms  the  simple  act  of  getting  a  quick  lunch,  into  a  cultural   experience.     ‘Waffle  On’  illustrates  how  a  place  can  contribute  to  Melbourne’s  overall   branding  image,  and  also  its  consumers’  perceptions  of  their  own  identity.   The  shops  such  as  ‘Waffle  On’  in  Melbourne’s  laneways  are  linked  with   Melbourne’s  branding  attempt  to  perpetuate  a  somewhat  cosmopolitan   European  image.  Donald  (2010)  highlights  that  this  branding  attempt  is   strategically  aimed  to  encourage  tourism  from  neighbouring  Asian   countries  as  they  can  ‘experience  Europe’  without  the  costs  and  travel,   within  Melbourne’s  lanes.  In  conjunction  with  perpetuating  Melbourne’s   brand  image,  it  also  allows  Melbournians  to  feel  cultured,  without   traveling  the  world.   The  popularity  of  ‘Waffle  On’  seems  to  be  its  success  of  encapsulating  a   European  atmosphere  and  creating  what  its  customers  call  a  ‘real  cultural   experience’  (Lizee  2005).  In  a  multicultural  city  such  as  Melbourne,  people  


are  on  the  search  for  new  and  authentic  experiences  every  day.  Where   people  live,  work,  and  eat  seems  to  be  intrinsically  linked  with  the   formation  of  a  person’s  identity.  Rofe  (2003)  argues  that  the  cities   gentrified  class  distinguish  themselves  by  viewing  themselves  as  ‘global   citizens.’  Such  cultural  artefacts  can  contribute  to  a  person’s  identity,  and   their  possible  view  of  being  a  global  citizen  as  it  ‘infuses  the  individual   with  a  sense  of  cosmopolitanism’  (Rofe  2003).   ‘Waffle  On’  offers  a  person  this  brief  cultural  experience,  such  as   encouraging  customers  to  order  in  French.  A  case  study  of  a  man  who   considered  himself  a  ‘global  citizen’  in  Rofe’s  study  said  he  ‘likes  to   experience  different  cultures,  not  some  cheap  fake  copy.’  Elliot  and  Davies   study  of  subcultures  argues  that  consumers  are  engaged  in  a  ‘symbolic   project’  where  the  consumer  actively  builds  an  identity  out  of  symbolic   materials  (2006).  Products  and  places  hold  cultural  meaning  which   consumers  can  draw  from.   This  constant  search  for  something  new  and  ‘real’  leads  our  consumer   driven  industries  to  constantly  try  and  advertise  something  ‘authentic’   that  will  provide  its  customer  with  an  experience.  Just  as  ‘authenticity  in   the  performance  of  identity’  (Elliot  &  Davies)  is  important  in  the   construction  of  an  individuals  image.  Authenticity  is  a  crucial  part  of   creating  a  successful  marketed  brand  or  image.  The  advertising  industry  is   continuously  trying  to  create  an  experience  for  the  customer  rather  than   just  a  product.            


REFERECNES     ARTEFACT  #1   Davison  G  2006  ‘From  the  Market  to  the  Mall:  A  Short  History  of  Shopping   in  Melbourne’  Background  Report  for  Department  of  Sustainability  and   Environment  Retail  Policy  Review  2008   McCann  A  1996,  ‘Melbourne’s  Royal  Arcade  and  the  Empty  Time  of   Fashion’  in  Australian  Historical  Studies,  vol.  27,  no.  107,  pp.  343-­‐355   Royal  Arcade  Website,  author/date  not  given,    last  viewed  3rd  June  2010    <  http://www.royalarcade.com.au/new_page_1.htm>   ARTEFACT  #2   Ferreter  S,  Lewis  M  ,  Pickford  M.  2008  ‘Melbourne’s  Revitalized  Laneways’   last  viewed  24th  May  2010   <http://courses.washington.edu/gehlstud/Precedent%20Studies/Melbou rne_Lanes.pdf>   Frost  W,  Laing  J  ,  Wheeler  F,  &  Reeves  K,    2010,  ‘Chapter  7:  Coffee  Culture,   Heritage  and  destination  Image:  Melbourne  and  the  Italian  model’,  in  Jolliffe   L,  Coffee  Culture,  Destinations  and  Tourism,  Channel  view,  Great  Britain,  pp.   99-­‐110   Montgomery  J,  1997  ‘Café  culture  and  the  city:  The  role  of  pavement  cafes  in   urban  public  social  life’  Journal  of  Urban  Design,  University  of  Reading,   Reading,  Berkshire,  UK   ARTEFACT  #3   Donald,  S  2010.  Lecture  ‘Destination  X:  The  Branded  City’,  Communication   and  Social  Relations  (COMM2411)  Course,  RMIT  University,  13th  April   2010.    


Donald,  S  &  Gammock,  J  2007,  Tourism  and  the  Branded  City:  film  and   identity  on  the  Pacific  Rim,  p.45-­‐61,  Aldershot,  England   Burlington,  VT     Elliot,  R  &  Davies,  A  2006,  Symbolic  Brands  and  the  authenticity  of  Identity   Performance  in  ‘Brand  Culture’  Edited  by    J.Schreoder  &  M.Salzer-­‐  Morlins   Routledge.  New  York.     Hewitt,  A  2009,  Lose  Yourself  in  Melbourne’s  Laneways:  Melbournes  Top   Attractions,  Ripefruit  Media   <http://www.onlymelbourne.com.au/melbourne_details.php?id=94 08>     By  ‘Lizee’,  2005,    ‘French  Charm,  Belgium  Recipe’  Blog  -­‐  Restaurant  Review   <http://www.mcity.com.au/melbourne/eating/634/waffle-­‐on>     Rofe,  M  2003,  Theorising  the  gentrifying  Class  as  an  Emergent  Elite  Global   Community,  Volume  40,  Urban  Studies.  Routledge,  London          


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