Writing in her introduction to the collection of essays published under the title Designing the Modern Interior: From the Victorians to Today, historian Penny Sparke offers the following:
“Given its allegiance to both architectural and design history, as well asâ€¦.to literary and cultural history and criticism, the modern interior has been positioned in a multidisciplinary context. Given the breadth of its manifestations, meanings and influences â€“ the modern interior can be linked to architecture which is visible in plans, axonometrics and photographs etc; to the idea of theatre, as, that is a â€˜stage setâ€™ for its occupants which invokes discussions about interiority; as an extension of the body, linked to the world of fashion; and as a represented, mediated ideal connoting a modern lifestyle â€“ it is impossible to limit a study of it to a single discipline.”
Your task is to write an examination essay that considers Professor Sparkâ€™s comments and addresses the issue of the study of interior design through the lens of history. Your essay should take into account issues of methodology, texts and interpretation. You are welcome to construct your answer around a close reading of a specific interior design (provide an image or images), a set of constructed interior spaces, or on a proposed but unbuilt work. You should take into consideration the role and operations of style, issues of phenomenology, affect and experience and the importance of context in expressive culture.
4-5 pages, double space.