Curtains and the Soft Architecture of the American Postwar Domestic Environment

Petty, Margaret Maile (2012) Curtains and the Soft Architecture of the American Postwar Domestic Environment. Home Cultures: The Journal of Architecture, Design and Domestic Space, 9(1), pp. 35-56.

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This article investigates the role of “soft architecture” and interior effects—including window treatments, textiles, and electric lighting—in the physcial and social construction of the postwar domestic environment in the USA. In this period the American home became an increasingly visual and visible space, defined more by the view out and the view in than by traditional conditions of domestic enclosure. Popular how-to columns and home decoration articles offered homemakers a variety of mechanisms for sustaining the appearance and psychological comfort of the modern domestic setting. Examining a range of popular decorative strategies used to mediate residential picture windows and window walls, this study challenges the deep-seated cultural and disciplinary biases associated with both the design and study of domestic architecture and interiors. Drawing upon historical documents and contemporary theorizations of the interior, this paper argues for the agency of “soft architecture” in the domestication of modern residential architecture.

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2 citations in Scopus
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1 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 87492
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
DOI: 10.2752/175174212X13202276383779
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Taylor & Francis
Deposited On: 11 Apr 2016 23:44
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2016 01:41

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