Ten years ago, the word ‘pop-up’ probably made you think of these annoying windows that appeared on your computer screen, seducing you to book an exotic cruise holiday. Or perhaps you would melancholically recall these wonderful children’s books that actually proved somewhat too fragile to browse through without parents.
Nowadays, the concept and term pop-up is widespread known as it has become a strong force in the urban fabric. A pop-up refers to the task where architects, entrepreneurs, communities and municipalities stand to deal with the constantly changing world and public space. This is at least how Jeroen Beekmans and Joop de Boer frame it in their book Pop up city: City-Making A fluid World.
New forms of pop-ups continuously pop up: pop-up galleries, pop-up camping sites, pop-up churches, pop-up psychotherapy practices, pop-up restaurants, pop-up bars, pop-up hairdressers, pop-up libraries, pop-up discotheques, pop-up taxi ranks and even pop-up bowling lanes.
The term pop-up appears to be a buzzword for everything temporarily and this phenomenon seems to fit perfectly with mobility, volatility, authenticity and exclusivity: typical characteristics of the post-industrial economy. At the same time the concept of pop-ups neighbors with the emphasis on an experience economy, massclusivity (exclusivity for the masses) and ‘planned spontaneity’, according to trendwatching.com something that typifies today’s consumer par excellence.
Lastly, the activities of pop-ups drive on strong and extensive social networks and social media. People inform each other about new locations and openings. And the need for physical human contact is met when the online community around a brand, shop, style or museum comes together in a temporary form in the off line world. Continue reading