We Asked a Cultural Historian: Are Apple Stores the New Temples? - Atlas Obscura

"These days, technology is more often talked about as a way to create personalized, individual experiences, but Robles-Anderson thinks that’s only part of the story. Communal ritual is always a part of technology: Early computers came into group spaces, like families and offices. (Mad Men understood this dynamic: the computer as an event weathered together.) Powerpoint presentations gather people to look at giant screens. Even using an iPhone to tune out the human beings around you requires being part of a larger group.

And Apple, more than any other technology company, has been able to access both these experiences, the individual and the collective. “They feel iconic, like an emblem of the personal,” says Robles-Anderson. “And yet it's a cult. Right? It's so obviously a cult.”"

Thought provoking topic with a couple good bits throughout. A little heavy-handed with the religious comparisons though. Trying to compare the steps and glass staircases to temples seems a bit of a weak connection. And focusing so much on "Jobs' vision" for Apple & its customers makes the piece feel very dated and out of the 2011 "Apple-is-doomed-without-Steve" era.

I wish the people behind the piece had focused more on the deeper similarities between Apple's Stores and religious temples, rather than trying to link the stairs as an "obvious" architectural callback. Still an interesting mental excercise nonetheless.

Cheers,

~Mike