This cross‐disciplinary research project brought together practitioners and academics in the UK and China. They considered ideas and innovations around the value of making in China. The project aimed to strengthen China’s multiple maker communities in partnership with the UK and scoped a much larger study.
In collaboration with the Histories of Home Specialist Subject Network.
A jointly hosted symposium with the MA program in the History of Design and Curatorial Studies at the School of Art and Design History and Theory, Parsons School of Design.
Elias Constantopoulos (University of Patras, Greece), Luca Basso Peressut (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Suzie Attiwill (RMIT University, Australia), Esben Skouboe Poulsen, Anne-Marie Sandvig Knudsen and Ole B. Jensen (Aalborg University, Denmark), Michael Chapman (University of Newcastle, Australia), Chris Hay (Lincoln University), Patricia Brown (Kingston University), Sing d’Arcy (University of New South Wales, Australia), Berta Tello Peon (UNAM, Mexico) and Lucia Tello Peon (University of Yucatán, Mexico), Joel Sanders (Yale University), Donna Wheatley, Ninotschka Titschkosky, and Domino Risch (BVN Architecture, Australia), Kendra Locklear (University of Texas at Austin), Elisa Bernardi (Politecnico di Milano), Lorens Holm (University of Dundee, UK)
Domestic Advice Literature and Histories of Home Geffrye Museum, London, 31 January 2013,
This AHRC Leadership Early Career Fellowship research project is in partnership with the National Museum of Ireland. The project look the issues surrounding the consumption of domestic electrical products in the Republic of Ireland in the wake of the Electricity Supply Board’s (ESB) rural electrification project, and will culminate in a monograph and an exhibition in the National Museum of Ireland.
FLOW 2, the second investigation into the transitional and intermediary relationships between interiors and landscapes, took a theoretical and practice-based approach to the examination of historical and contemporary interiors and landscapes, focusing on those arising from the emergence of increasingly fluid and virtual spatial environments. The conference was accompanied by an exhibition of practice-based responses to the conference theme, held at the Wunderlich Gallery at the University of Melbourne.
Research Symposium, Interiors: Film, Theater, Television Parsons School of Design, New York, 18 November 2016
Jude Walton and Phoebe Robinson, Sarah Jamieson and Nadia Wagner, Sarah Breen Lovett, Gini Lee and Dolly Daou, Eleanor Suess, Donna Wheatley and Ninotschka Titschkosky.
Symposium ‘Open Doors: Domestic Interiors and Material Culture in Latin America’ 55th International Congress of Americanists (ICA), San Salvador (El Salvador), 12–17 July 2015
Speakers Professor Pat Kirkham, Bard Graduate Center, New York, “Re-assessing Charles and Ray Eames” Ben Highmore, University of Sussex, “Habitat and the Making of Taste” Paula Lupkin, University of North Texas, “For Men, By Men: Building and Furnishing the YMCA” Barbara Penner, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, “Researching Life: Herman Miller’s Metaform Project” Alice T.
Friedman, Wellesley College, USA, “The Cultured Corporation: New Light on the Art of Post-war Lobby Design”
Programme Pat Kirkham, Kingston University London – 22 Avenue Road, Leicester by Fello Atkinson and Brenda Walker Tim Rohan, University of Massachusetts, USA – Manhattan 1969: Lifestyle, Media and the New Interior Architecture Ana-Maria Fernandez, University of Oviedo, Spain – Just what is it that makes Spanish homes so different, so appealing? About Francoist Domestic Interior Design Natascha Drabbe, Iconic Houses Network, Netherlands – Iconic Houses Network
A one-day symposium, to which invited speakers contributed papers on their recent/current research on interiors.
Examples of past Modern Interiors Research Centre conferences and events include:
The Modern Interiors Research Centre is part of a large international network, staging conferences and events and engaging with international authorities and institutions. It works with, for example, partners as diverse as the V&A and the Geffrye Museum to the Universities of Melbourne and Oviedo.
The body of literature on the history of domestic architecture and interiors in Latin America is scant, fragmentary and not yet disseminated. The home has been little researched from a historical perspective and its interiors and domestic material culture are therefore largely unknown.
The research identified a number of less well protected and vulnerable categories of public house as well as a number of buildings of interest for further detailed study.
Fluid urban conditions such as supermodern public spaces – international airports, shopping malls, urban plazas and post-industrial parks – render problematic the relatively simple dualities of ‘inside’ and ‘outside’, ‘private’ and ‘public’, ‘domestic’ and ‘non-domestic’ and ‘place’ and ‘non-place’. Likewise global concerns such as climate variability, economic instability and transnationalism are similarly informing discussion about design, occupation and conservation, particularly where local ecologies and practices are impacted by the flow of change.
Please contact Penny Sparke, Fiona Fisher or Catharine Rossi.
The Modern Interiors Research Centre organises an annual symposium. Details of the 2018 symposium, which will be held at Dorich House Museum, will be posted later in 2017.
Papers Alice T. Friedman, Grace Slack McNeil Professor of American Art, Wellesley College, “Park Avenue Royalty: Apartments for Queens and Princesses” Sarah A. Lichtman, Assistant Professor, Design History, Parsons School of Design, “Designing Anne Frank: Space and the Construction of a Teenage Girl” Marilyn Cohen, Assistant Professor, Parsons School of Design, “Decorating ‘I Love Lucy’ ” Sorcha O’Brien, Senior Lecturer, Design History and Theory, Kingston University London, “Visions of Home: Nostalgia and Mobility in Serenity’s Domestic Interior” Caitlin Dichter, Cultural Resource Specialist, North Wind Group, “Opening Doors You Never Dreamed Existed: The Many Decorative Faces to ‘Auntie Mame'” Christian Larsen, Associate Curator, Modern Decorative Arts and Design, Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Design, Environment, and Ecofeminist Suburban Horror in Todd Haynes’ Safe”
As a privileged space for the forging, affirming and contesting of identities (class, gender, local, national), the domestic interior is a key site of social and cultural generation and transformation. The process of home making is fundamental to social life, with its hybrid melding of tradition and modernity, gradually producing a personal, familial and collective palimpsest.The symposium invited and selected papers about domestic interiors in Latin America in the 19th and 20th centuries, with the aim of illustrating and charting the changes that have permeated them within a framework of identity building, and particularly with reference to issues of class, gender and nation.
Spaces and Places: British Design 1948-2012 11-12 May 2012, V&A, London
In collaboration with Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne
This influential event focused on three contrasting studies looking at an innovative mid-20th century architect-designed home in Leicester; Manhattan interiors of the late 1960s; and Franco-era domestic interiors in Spain; and an introduction to the Iconic Houses Network from its founder Natascha Drabbe.
Cat Rossi: China’s Creative Communities: Making Value and The Value(s) of Making
Keynotes Jeff Malpas (University of Tasmania) Kerstin Thompson (Kerstin Thompson Architects) Speakers
This research was commissioned by English Heritage (now Historic England) to highlight the threat to Bristol’s pubs. Declining trade has resulted in loss of historic buildings and interiors as pubs are demolished or converted for housing and other uses.
Fiona Fisher and Rebecca Preston: The Nineteenth‐ and Twentieth‐Century Public House in Bristol
Alice T. Friedman, Wellesley College, “Poker Faces: Seeing Behind the Mask of Convention” Catherine Ince, The Barbican Art Gallery, “Something about The World of Charles and Ray Eames” Fredie Floré, KU Leuven, “The Politics of Furniture.
Identity, Diplomacy and Persuasion in Post-war Interiors” Penny Sparke, Kingston University, “Nature, Culture and the Design of the Feminine Sphere in the Nineteenth Century” Charles Rice, University of Technology, Sydney, “The Atrium Effect”
Symposium co-convened by Patricia Lara-Betancourt (MIRC, Kingston University London) with Gladys Arana (Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Merida, Mexico.
Its influential publications have included Designing the Modern Interior (2010) and Biography, Identity and the Interior (2013). The Research Centre launched the academic journal Interiors: Design Architecture Culture in 2010.
The Research Centre places its emphasis is on identity and habitation – the experience of being inside spaces. It explores the interior as an interface between architecture and designed objects. Research fields include design and architectural history; and visual, material, personal and spatial culture.
Speakers Penny Sparke, Kingston University, “Domestic Advice Literature” Grace Lees-Maffei, University of Hertfordshire, “Stories of Home: Domestic Advice Literature as Narrative” Lesley Hoskins, Queen Mary, University of London, “Calibrating advice: prescription and practice in the mid- nineteenth century” Rachel Ritchie, Brunel University, “From the Council of Industrial Design to the Co-op: influences on interior design and décor advice in women’s magazines, 1954-1969” Emma Ferry, Nottingham Trent University, “‘Any lady can do this without much trouble’: class and gender in Mrs Loftie’s The Dining Room” Nicholas Tromans, Kingston University, “‘An alien in the decorative community’: the problem of pictures in British domestic advice literature” Patricia Lara-Betancourt, Kingston University, “Advice literature as reform discourse”
Sorcha O’Brien: The Electrification of the Rural Irish Home: Housewives, Electrical Products and Domesticity in the 1950s and 1960s
FLOW 2 – A Conference in Two Parts 8-10 February 2012, University of Melbourne, Australia
In collaboration with the V&A Research and Education Departments
Cat Rossi: Space Electronic: Then and Now at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale
Kingston School of Art’s Modern Interiors Research Centre is the world’s leading research centre in its field. It is dedicated to the study of interiors and their contents from the mid 19th century to the present day. Research is historically focused and consideration is also given to contemporary practice and theory.
Book launch for the Routledge Companion to Design Studies by Penny Sparke and Fiona Fisher.
Modern Interiors Research Centre, Research Symposium Kingston University, Dorich House Museum, 18 January 2017
Keynotes David Kynaston (Independent Scholar) Owen Hatherley (Writer and Journalist) Speakers
Catharine Rossi, Space Electronic – Then and Now installation at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale (credit: Gilly Booth)
Christopher Breward and Ghislaine Wood (curators of British Design 1948–2012: Innovation in the Modern Age), Christine Lalumia, Fiona Anderson, Alison Clarke, Cheryl Buckley, Janine Barker, Paul Gorman, Julian Powell Tuck, Piers Gough, Maurice Howard, Jules Lubbock, Alan Powers, Catherine Burke, Harriet McKay, Joe Kerr, Joe Moran.
The over‐arching aim of the Research Centre is to create a body of knowledge that will inform interior design knowledge worldwide.
Developed as part of the British Design Season at the V&A, Spaces and Places: British Design 1948-2012 explored a range of public and private spaces – domestic spaces, educational spaces, retail spaces and leisure and transport environments – from the perspective of world class British design in the post-war period.
The event brought together scholars from different disciplines to consider the role of advice literature in the study of the home, its design and interiors, recognising the significance of the source in shaping perceptions and representations of the domestic sphere. Examples of home decoration and household management advice published from the second of half of the 19th century onwards were discussed. Themes included the problematic nature of the relationship between ‘ideal’ and ‘real’ interiors and the multiple agendas and influences which have informed the production of different types of domestic advice.
This was a collaborative and multi‐disciplinary research project for the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale. It was a curated installation of work (film and soundtrack) from across Kingston School of Art. It told the story of Space Electronic, a disco opened in Florence in 1969 by Gruppo 9999, members of Italy’s Radical Architecture movement.