The Modern Interiors Research Centre Conference (May 2010, UK)

The Modern Interiors Research Centre Conference, Kingston University, London
Thursday 13TH and Friday 14TH May 2010

The annual conference of the Modern Interiors Research Centre has established itself as a leading forum for international, interdisciplinary debate on the history and theory of the modern interior. In 2010 the conference will bring together architectural and design historians, theoreticians and practitioners, to explore the theme of Interior Lives.

Historians and theorists working within a range of disciplinary contexts and historiographical traditions are turning to biography as means of exploring and accounting for social, cultural and material change. The conference will consider the historical insights that ethno/auto/biographical investigations into the lives of individuals, groups and interiors can offer architectural and design historians; the methodological issues that arise from the use of ethno/auto/biographical sources to explore the history of the interior as a site in which everyday life is experienced and performed; and the ways in which contemporary architects and interior designers draw on personal and collective histories in their practice.

We welcome proposals for 20-minute conference papers.  Papers may take the form of historical or contemporary case studies that examine an aspect of the visual, material or spatial culture of the interior with reference to the conference theme of life writing, and might explore:

The Lives of Interiors and Interior Objects: Ethno/auto/biographical investigations into the lifecycle of interiors; the lives of interior objects; the significance of the interior as a site in which memories are produced, represented and invoked.

Interiority/Private Lives: Embodied histories and the use of biographical approaches and sources to historicise socio-spatial practices; examine psychic and spatial dimensions of interiority.

Professional Lives: The use of biographical methods and materials to investigate the professional activities of designers; map professional and client networks; explore, locate and account for aspects of professional practice.

Shared Lives: The use of life writing to represent and account for shared histories and experiences; histories of public environments and their social use; private lives in public spaces, such as the representation of personal and collective histories in the museum or gallery.

Methodologies and Sources: Biography as a form of historical writing on the interior; auto/biography as an investigative/analytic tool; the use of auto-ethnographic narratives as a means of exploring the interiors of minority groups and cultures; auto-ethnography as an approach to thinking about disciplinary developments.

An abstract of 300 words should be submitted to (subject header: INTERIOR LIVES).  Please include a separate biographical paragraph (maximum 200 words) including your institutional affiliation, position, and the title of your paper.  This will appear in the conference programme if your paper is selected.  The deadline for receipt of abstracts is FRIDAY 8TH JANUARY 2010.

Speakers may also submit their papers for consideration to the Journal Interiors: Design, Architecture, Culture jointly edited by Anne Massey (MIRC, Kingston University) and John Turpin (Department of Interior Design, Washington State University). Please see for further details.

The conference organisers also welcome poster submissions.  Posters may address the specific theme of the conference OR explore another aspect of the history and theory of the modern interior. For poster guidelines please contact


About Fil Salustri
I'm a design methodologist and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Adjectives that describe me include: secular humanist, meritocrat, and long-winded. Some people call me a positivist too, as if that were a bad thing. Go figure. My real home page is

One Response to The Modern Interiors Research Centre Conference (May 2010, UK)

  1. Eco Green says:

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