IDEA JOURNAL 2012: Writing/drawing: negotiating the perils and pleasures of interiority (Feb 2012)

Guest Editor: Dr Sarah Treadwell
Deadline for registration of interest, 50 word abstract and image if appropriate: 10 February 2012

The forthcoming issue of the IDEA JOURNAL calls for contributions in the form scholarly essays, visual essays and theorized creative practice on the topic of Writing /Drawing: negotiating the perils and pleasures of interiority.

Interiority is subject to specific sorts of disciplinary representation and the premise for this provocation is that images of interiority are frequently at odds with, or resistant to conventional representational systems. Interiority is attached to socially and culturally selected manifestations of power, gender, labour and materiality and these everyday conditions emerge in images of interiority, drawn or written, amplifying and disquieting usual disciplinary concerns.

Three sketched examples:
In an architectural journal is a description of a house in Bordeaux by Rem Koolhaas, as recounted by Susana Ventura on a visit to the house where she follows Guadalupe who is the housekeeper:

  • I follow Guadalupe back and forth. She zigzags up the ramp of the patio. She says this is the best way not to be tired at the end.
  • Off goes Guadalupe with the vacuum cleaner in hand, vacuuming everything she encounters. First, the kitchen. She displaces the movable furniture below the kitchen bench, vacuums the drawers, the countless bottles, the ceiling, the door.
  • She shakes the carpet on the patio, puts it back in place.  Then on to the top floor, where she vacuums Marie’s bathroom and bedroom, the elevator platform, every single corner she can find.
  • (Susana Ventura, Being Stuck: Between reality and Fiction, Log 16, Spring/Summer 2009, 145)

The architectural interior is revealed through a reporting of movement and a slow material engagement with surface, writing into the interior an everyday attentiveness and neglect, constructing interiority as both abject, with the stuffy persistence of unwanted patina (shedding skin and the adherence of soot), and as a form of worship, gilded with polish. The interior is constructed through writing in terms of its occupation and maintenance with language that is both personal and detached.

A black and white line drawing of an interior set up by a vertical section perspective of House and Atelier Bow-Wow by Atelier Bow-Wow, described by Irene Cheng as a parody of a technical drawing incorporating

  • many elements normally excluded from construction documents, such as perspectival depth; silhouettes of human figures engaged in prosaic activities like eating, brushing teeth, gardening, and sleeping; props like slippers, stuffed animals; house plants, and shag rugs; outlines of the views seen through windows; and the obsessive rendering of textures like those of wood surfaces.
  • (Irene Cheng House of Mirth: Atelier Bow-Wow’s Ironies in Harvard Design Magazine 29 Fall/Winter 2008-9, 62.)

A drawing that shifts the nature of the technical interior, the dimensioned, constructed and abstract set of building information, into an inhabited, furnished narrative of daily life. The daily life is however artificial; the people are ghosts and the stories told by the furnishings are improbably clean; there is no colour.

A black and white photograph taken in the early years of the twentieth century by Alfred James Tattersall shows the interior of a Samoan fale with two women lying supposedly asleep on mats in the middle of the empty space. Titled, Interior of Native House, the image might be seen as the ubiquitous collector’s assemblage with wooden headrests in view and the women contained by the borders of their mats. The photographic focus, however, is sharpest as it traces the framing and woven materiality of the fale, recording the precision of the bindings that connect structure, while the gentle breath of the women, in the long exposure, very slightly blurs the image and resists their capture. (Tattersall, Alfred James (1866-1951), House interior with women on sleeping mats, Date unknown [c 1925] Samoa b&w original negative, ID: 1/2-094329-F Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington.)

This provocation seeks papers that address the complications and felicities of representing all forms of interiority (domestic, work spaces, institutional or public spaces) from technical, theoretical, programmatic or cultural perspectives. It seeks to attract discussions on representations of the interior constructed with writing, drawing (analogue or digital), installation, performance, photography, film or building.


that demonstrate development and engagement with interior design/interior architecture history, theory, education and practice through critique and synthesis. The focus is on the documentation and critical review of both speculative research and practice-based research

that represent the nature and outcomes of refereed design studios which have either been previously peer reviewed in situ and/or critically discussed through text and imagery for the IDEA JOURNAL.

that critically evaluate design-based works which seek to expand the nature of spatial and theoretical practice in interior design/interior architecture and associated disciplines.

that demonstrate critical, pictorial responses to design conditions.

to encourage debate into the emerging literature dedicated to the expression and expansion of the theory and practice of interior design/interior architecture.

Authors are invited to register their interest in submitting a paper on the form attached and forward by email to the Executive Editor, Rachel Carley by 10 February 2012. (If there is no attachment then visit where a call for papers/registration form can be downloaded). Registration of interest is not refereed. The acknowledgement of registration facilitates development of proposal to full research paper, refereed studio or project review by providing formatting guidelines and publication standards to registrants.


Call for contributions: 1 December 2011
Registration of interest including 50 word abstract and image if appropriate due by 10 February 2012
Acknowledgement by 19 February 2012
Submit full draft for review by 16 July 2012
Peer-review – August-September 2012
Notification by 5 November 2012
Revisions returned by 30 November 2012
Journal published early 2013 with 2012 date

GUEST EDITOR: The guest editor for the 2012 IDEA Journal is Dr Sarah Treadwell. Sarah is an Associate Professor at the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland. Her research investigates the representation of architecture in colonial and contemporary images. Motels, gender and volcanic conditions of ground are also subjects of interest. Sarah has published in various books and journals including Architectural Design, Space and Culture and Architectural Theory Review.

The IDEA JOURNAL is published by IDEA (Interior Design / Interior Architecture Educators Association)
ACN 135 337 236

About Fil Salustri
I'm a design methodologist and Associate 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

2 Responses to IDEA JOURNAL 2012: Writing/drawing: negotiating the perils and pleasures of interiority (Feb 2012)

  1. Pingback: IDEA JOURNAL 2012: Writing/drawing: negotiating the perils and … | Arch. Annie C. Pugeda

  2. Prorch says:

    View the largest collection of CALL FOR PAPERS at

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