Finding Fulfilment : When Amazon came to town....

This project is a critical exploration into the amount of control global companies possess and the physical and social effects that this control can have on urban space. Drawing inspiration from company towns of the past and the corporate campuses of today, this project explores the level of control organisations can exercise over their workers, both within the workplace and outside it. Using Amazon as an example, it explores what life would be like in a town where the company controls everything.

The Scenario

The Northern Irish Government has reached an agreement with the global retailer, Amazon, over the decision to build a new fulfilment centre in the town. This news comes as Markethill, along with many other towns across the Northern Irish borderlands have been struggling with the social and economic effects of a drawn-out exit from the EU. The agreement grants Amazon unregulated control of all aspects of the town, in exchange for employment and investment in the town’s infrastructure.

On the back of negative reports coming from workers across the country, they decide to use Markethill as a way of showing that they care about their workers. Through offering them access to leisure facilities in Prime Health, a chance to learn new skills and improve their career opportunities within the Church of Fulfilment, and through revitalising the towns dying high street to create a seamless shopping experience, Amazon appear to have saved this town from post Brexit decline.

This project has aimed to highlight both the benefits and dangers that global companies such as Amazon can pose to our lives. While they may make our life easier and more efficient, their underlying motives must not be ignored and as a society we must ask the question, how much control are we willing to give up?