Over the semester we have had multiple units where we had different teachers teach us about topics such as experience, finishes, furnishings, representation, and theories. Starting off the semester with experiences was a good transition into the other units because everything in interior design can connect back to experience. With finishes and furnishings we learned the history of certain furnishings and how they function along with how finishes can contribute to the experience in a space. The representation unit taught us about the world’s fairs and different styles and how they can be recognized in the design world today. We then learned about theories and different designer’s theories on interior design. Each unit led us to the next and everything was built off the previous unit. I think each unit connected because I always relate the units to each other. For example, finishes and furnishings connect to interior experiences. After this class I will think differently about the way I see rooms and how everything in a room contributes to my experience and outlook on that space. The first image I have chosen is a picture of KLair because in our experience unit we talked about our experience in a place that we are not very familiar with and it really made me think about how all the details and finishes effect my experience. The second image represents what we learned with status indicators. A room full of nice furniture and decor can create a high status room. The last image I have chosen is a picture of a Greek fret to show how we learned about motifs throughout the different time periods and cultures.
Over the semester we have learned a lot of insightful information on the history and theories of interior environments and spaces. One of the key themes that describes what we have learned is the theme of status. In our unit of finishes we learned about status indicators and status symbols. We had a group activity where two different interior spaces were put next to each other and our task was to describe the different status indicators in the room. We elaborated on how the indicators could describe the experience in the room and even describe the personalities of the home owner’s and their differences. For example, with my group we were given one image of an older and more traditional home that looked like it had some royal history and the other room was a modern downtown apartment with simple furnishings. The style indicators in the room were finishes such as artwork and even the amount of furniture. I have learned from this class that status indicators can only be indicated based off what the person thinks when they see the space. Status indicators are also usually set in place to show a sense of power or style or taste. The image I have chosen shows how wall and ceiling detail can make a room feel extremely elegant.
Another key theme that sums up the information from the history and theories of interior environments is the theme of furnishings. Furnishings have evolved so much over time and have adjusted to how humans function. Over our unit we saw some of the first examples of chairs in different areas and time periods and then compared them to how they look in today’s world. We learned how furnishings function in a room and create different environments. A room is greatly impacted by the furnishings that are placed in it. For example, if a room is not filled with furniture then that means that the room is not a lounging area and it may force people to stand and just pass through it. A room could also be filled with chairs and sofas that convey people to sit and converse in that space and use it to entertain in rather than just pass through it. When I look at all the rooms in the different spaces I go in I now notice these things and how furniture is put in certain places and positions on purpose to create certain functions. That is why the image I have chosen is a room full of furnishings that create a relaxed and lounging environment.
Another key theme from this semester of the study of history and theories of interior environments is the theme technology. Technology is a huge influence on history and evolution of interiors over time. Recently we learned about the world’s fairs and how technology was a big focus of the fairs. For example, I looked at the world fair held in Chicago in 1933 and at that fair the focus was on space and space exploration along with cars and everything about cars. This technology was all very new and interesting in the world at this time and it effected the decor and interior environments of this fair. At this fair there were lots of decorations that were placed in the sky to represent space. The image I have chosen is a picture from the 1933 Chicago world’s fair to show an example of how technology was such an influence of the fair. Technology is important for the study of interiors because we live in a world that revolves around technology and therefor interiors revolve around it as well. For example, many rooms in today’s world all have high def televisions or some sort of new technology within them. There will be more and more technology put in rooms as time goes on.
Another theme that sums up the information we have learned over the semester is the theme of color. Color is the basis for everything in an interior space. There are many theories about color and how humans connect with certain colors. Color has evolved over time through interiors. The first use of color for finishes and furnishings would come from natural sources that were around people. Color is so important to interior design because different colors convey different feelings or meanings and they can effect the mood of a space. Interior designers have the power to create experiences through the use of color whether it the color of walls or the colors of the finishes and furnishings. The image I have chosen for the theme of color is actually two different rooms showing how one room is more gloomy because of the color choices and the other room feels more bright and airy because of the color choices. Based off the pictures you can see how the color yellow is used to create a bright and inviting space. The room on the left is a dark colored room and does not look as inviting. Colors can truly determine the feelings a person experiences in a room.
The final key theme that I feel is a big part of the history and theories of interior design is the theme of theories. In our last unit we learned about different theories of interior design and how different designers view interior design. We looked at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and how interior design compares to the pyramid of needs. We also looked at Stewart Brand’s theories on buildings and how there is a scale of change when talking about buildings. Every designer has their own theory on interior design and design in general and this is why theories are so relevant to our class. New ideas are always sprouting for design whether that be creating new ways to build buildings or new lighting techniques. The image I have chosen is a picture of the maslow pyramid. After we learned about how interior design needs can relate to the hierarchy of needs it really made me think about how buildings and spaces all start off somewhere and grow over time with nurturing. For example, a building starts off on the first level of need and makes it way to the top of the pyramid over time as it gains character and its own structure.