'Furniture is a kind of dress' : interiors as projection of self

Taylor, Mark (2006) 'Furniture is a kind of dress' : interiors as projection of self. In McMinn, Terrance, Stephens, John, & Basson, Stephen (Eds.) 23rd Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians : Contested Terrains, September 29 - October 2 2006, Fremantle, Western Australia,.


The nineteenth-century bourgeois interior was one of the few locations available for women's self-expression; an expression that can be read as the conceptual conflation of women and interiors. Women decorated rooms as a reflection of self, individuality and eventually personality. They decorated and ornamented in parallel with their own bodies and clothes, extending one into the other. This paper discusses one early example of this body centred reading of a spatial terrain and proposes that the metaphoric relationship between woman and interior was a philosophical position evident in the writings of the nineteenth-century art critic and suffrage campaigner Mary Haweis. It develops an argument for the interior as both a mirroring of the body and a projection of the domestic body into its environment. This position critiques the notion of the interior as something distinct from the body, and transcends language that exclusively describes women’s bodies as portraying the adornment of home.

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ID Code: 7563
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Aesthetic theory, architectural philosophy, interior design
ISBN: 0646465945
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Architectural Design (120101)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Interior Design (120106)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Mark Taylor
Deposited On: 16 May 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:40

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