With the history of interior design, one of themes that was noted in the lecture that I find to be true of a major theme is settlements. Throughout history there have always been buildings and settlements that are created to show power or dominance or even just security. We have seen how there are barriers around historic settlements to keep others out and be an exclusive place. We have also seen how many of these ancient settlements seem to ascend and get higher and higher which is a sign of reaching to a higher power or in some cases a religious power. In talking about those boundary markings, the lecture gave the great example of the Great Wall of China which is one of the most iconic examples of boundary markings through building. There were also examples of circular boundaries which may have represented religious gatherings that were exclusive. The study of interiors and buildings have greatly been impacted by the way buildings used to be built with their boundaries and exclusiveness. In the world today we can still see how status is impacted by exclusiveness and privacy. The theme ‘settlements’ works well as the first theme of the history of interiors because it is the basic building block for the rest of design to build off of.
Another theme that I think accurately depicts the history and theory of interior environments is the theme of gender. When I say the theme ‘gender’ I am talking about how the way buildings, furniture, finishes, etc. used to be different for men and women due to power and cultural elements. Looking at Egypt is a very informative way to see how gender played a role in the evolution of interiors because Egyptians were the pioneers for much of the furnishings we see in our world today. Men and women in Egypt were looked at in very different ways with men being the higher power and women having a much lesser role during the time. An example of this would be the chairs we studied when we looked at the history of furnishings. We saw pictures of Egyptian chairs and how the men’s chairs had backs and armrests and women’s chairs were very simple and just a stool. This theme of gender evolved in other time periods too. An example of this would be with royalty. The sight of the throne is easily recognizable by the size and lavishness of the chair of the King while the throne of the of the queen is less extravagant.
Another theme that I think describes the history and theory of interior environments is building type. In the online lecture we went over how there are different building types throughout the ages that represent different styles, statuses, and time periods. In the lecture Patrick discussed how in Rome the building types played a huge role in society. For example the Colosseum in Rome is a very specifically made building to bring together the city in one building and hold gladiator festivities. The lecture also talked about there are different types of details on buildings. Patrick said that arches and columns were introduced to buildings as story telling details because the different columns and arches each depicted a different style and sometimes even had details around them that would actually tell a story. Building types and styles are a huge part of the history of interiors because if there weren’t different building styles we would not have the uniqueness of buildings in our world today. Different styles are what make people drawn to certain buildings and interiors. For my image I have chosen a picture of a Palladian home because this is a building type/style that is easily recognizable and has had such an impact of the field of design.
A theme that describes what we have learned throughout this course and depicts the history and theory of interior environments is the theme of motifs. Motifs are what make distinctions between different style periods and make interior finishes easily noticeable. Over this semester, as a non-major, I learned exactly what a motif was in interior design. I learned the motifs from the different cultures and time periods. For example, the lotus motif from the Egyptians. This motif can be found on ancient Egyptian furniture and finishes. The motifs throughout history are important for interior design today because they are still used for furniture and finishes today. A designer may use a Greek fret motif to finish a room or an Egyptian motif. We put such an emphasis on motifs in this class because details and finishes revolve around the design of motifs. After the activities and sketches we did with ancient motifs, I realized that many of the ancient motifs we studied are in my home and around me when I am walking to class and everywhere else in my world. That is why I feel the theme of motifs is such an important study of this class and for the study of interiors.
The final key theme that I feel describes what we learned over the course of the history of interiors and environments is the theme of innovation. The word ‘innovation’ itself is so important in the design world because the world is always being innovated with new technology and ideas and therefor design and interior design is also constantly innovating. From ancient architecture to modern day buildings we can see that building structures have changed and interior finishes have changed over time. Each style period has built off the period before them, whether that be perfecting an arch design or creating a new type of ceiling in a building. I think that innovation is a huge theme in this course. The use of technology has evolved over time and that has allowed for design to change with it. Lighting in interior environments used to be all from natural sources, but through technology and innovation over time electricity has become the source of light in interior spaces. Even with the use of textiles in interiors spaces, it has changed over time. Textiles were used on walls to preserve art work and keep rooms warm before there was electricity and heat. With innovation being a theme of this course, it makes me wonder what interior environments will consist of in the next 100 years.