The Role of the Built Environment in the Creation, Cultivation and Acquisition of a Knowledge-Base

The Role of the Built Environment in the Creation, Cultivation and Acquisition of a Knowledge-Base

Kristine Peta Jerome (Queensland University of Technology, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-721-3.ch013
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Abstract

This chapter explores the role of the built environment in the creation, cultivation and acquisition of a knowledge base by people populating the urban landscape. It examines McDonald’s restaurants as a way to comprehend the relevance of the physical design in the diffusion of codified and tacit knowledge at an everyday level. Through an examination of space at a localised level, this chapter describes the synergies of space and the significance of this relationship in navigating the global landscape.
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Engaging With Mcdonald’S Restaurants: The Old Face Of Mcdonald’S

It is at the site of McDonald’s restaurants that the physical domain operates for a particular kind of consumer to engage in a particular act of dining with a particular set of products across the globe. Whilst McDonald’s recognises that ‘diversity’ is a key method in its success, evidence suggests that comprehending the extent of diversification manifest in the built environment is crucial for maintaining economic security. This is why the physical environments of McDonald’s restaurants have traditionally deviated very little across the globe (Bryman, 2003). They have manufactured and maintained a fast food restaurant ‘script’ to ensure a standard sequence of events occurs in each location across the globe (Abelson, 1981). The following description reflects the model of traditional McDonald’s restaurants and the way the physical design emphasises activities and certain kinds of interaction suitable to the McDonald’s experience. It illustrates a design formula intended to homogenise experience and meet the expectations of a clientele seeking the consumption of familiar fast food.

This description is a result of careful observation of a traditional McDonald’s restaurant located in Kenmore, a suburb in Brisbane, Australia. The description highlights the way that the interior setting has been carefully planned to standardise experience and engage with the strategy of Westernisation. There are no surprises in this description and there are no surprises in the environment. The absence of surprise is important in enabling participants to engage with the fast food restaurant script with relative ease. This is a traditional McDonald’s restaurant, typical of McDonald’s restaurants that have populated the urban landscape of Australia.

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