Playing up: The Role of Decoration in the Re-conceptualisation of Interior Design

By Lisa Zamberlan.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The practice and discourse of decoration is provocative in built environment debates; simultaneously reflecting discipline and territory disputes, gender politics and well documented arguments on intellectual and aesthetic credibilities. Despite the currency of decoration in contemporary practice, recent debates tend to overlook decoration in the scholarship of interior design. Factors that contribute to this omission include not only the relatively recent entry of interior design education into academic institutions, but also prevailing attitudes related to the alignment of interior design education and discourse with the practices, theories and methodologies of architecture, and the extended debates contesting this position in relation to discipline identity. This paper examines the context behind this omission and considers the works of Alexandra Loew and Professor Joel Sanders which contest negative assumptions concerning the decorated surface. Specifically, it draws from the relationship of decoration to notions of artifice by Sanders and Loew in addressesing the question: What role does decoration play in current re-conceptualisations of contemporary interior design? Interior design, as discussed in this paper, refers to 20th and 21st century western practice and scholarship with particular regard to the Australian context.

Keywords: Interior Design, Architecture, Decoration, Design Education

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.1-14. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.203MB).

Lisa Zamberlan

Lecturer, Faculty of Built Environment, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Lisa Zamberlan is a lecturer and design studio coordinator within the Interior architecture program at the University of New South Wales. She teaches at undergraduate level, predominantly in design studio. Her research area examines interior design as a practice embedded within the influences of fashion.

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