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The Re-signifying of Habitual Architecture, CON'T...

Buford Highway is a landscape covered in these re-vamped chain stores and this section attempts to document this recent architectural / cultural phenomemon. On Buford, a newer, more fast-foody Pizza Hut Express sits a few blocks from an older model that now houses a Korean BBQ Restaurant. A lone Taco Bell continues to operate in the midst of dozens of authentic Mexican taqurias: a situation not neccecarily seen as ironic by the diverse local population. Enterprise is the name of the game in an area where a Bengladeshi-operated Dunkin' Donuts franchise operates down the road from a Dominican Republic restaurant utilizing the remains of the last Dunkin' Donuts shop in the neighborhood.

And yet, aside from the shared desire to make money, there is a more subtle difference in the nature of these transfigured chain stores. While they are fulfilling the same fundemental goals as their corporate counterparts: providing food and services to their intended demographic, the appropriation of cookie-cutter architecture provides a concrete representation of what a friend calls "the outer limits of global capitalism". The saavy creation of the closely-guarded corporate identities that resulted in the uniform and highly recognnizable franchise buildings is at once undermined and inverted. The symbols of rock-solid corporate identity backed and renforced by multi-million dollar marketing campaigns suddenly become ghosts of short-term profit and yesterday's homegeniety, now reincarnated for a New South suburbia.

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