Theme Journal – What is Interiors?
In his 1994 book, What is Architecture? An Essay on Landscapes, Buildings, and Machines, Paul Shepheard draws a distinction between the questions ‘What is Architecture?’ and ‘What Should Architecture Be?’ Through this slight but meaningful adjustment, he tries to get underneath the seemingly distinct categories that define the discipline such as history, design, research, and materials, opening up in this way a discussion of how these categorizations emerged in the first place. What are the underlying conditions, events, and questions that enabled their formation? Resisting singular answers such questioning instead prompts a discourse that expands disciplinary knowledge.
The title of the journal, Interiors: Design/Architecture/Culture situates interiors vis-a-vis a triad of terms that hold multiple connotations, suggesting a range of possible relationships that shape our intellectual understanding of interiors. This special theme issue seeks to question presumed disciplinary frameworks, much like Shepeard did, in order to define critical trajectories for new interiors scholarship and practice.