This research investigates interior design through the notion of flux. Rather than considering an interior to be fixed and stable it instead argues that an interior is in continual production through the making of relations the interior co-dependent upon both spatial and temporal conditions encountered.
The term mise-en-scène originating from film and stage disciplines is adopted in relation to interior design. It is understood as a layered and scenic site of material, temporal and virtual conditions. Despite a reliance upon spatial cues and implied narratives the mise-en-scène avoids certain meaning in favour of complexity. Rather than offering up a determined and resolved encounter it instead invites levels of contemplation, speculation and exchange.
This approach emphasises the inhabitant as an involved and performative participant that actively constructs relationships through a process of scenic assemblage. In this way the mediated interior experience is co created by both the spatial and temporal structures of the mise-en-scène and the subjective productions of the participant.
This conceptual framework allows the research to escape the somewhat predictable definition of an interior; i.e. that they reside only within a building or must be spatially constrained or enclosed by walls. Rather more excitingly in this research an interior is understood to potentially occur throughout space flowing into the city as a continuous urban interior.
In this way the urban situation is considered as a broad social and spatial context adopted as a design laboratory for interior investigation. It is accepted as a dense, complex and simultaneous condition, in a way a grand or continuous mise-en-scène of buildings, programs and events. The inherent idea of mobility becomes a key interest in the work where rational concepts of city space begin to break down at a street level into more fragmented, sequenced and filmic ideas of experience.
The urban situation is recognised as a fascinating collision of the strategic institutional structures and the informal lived tactics of the everyday. As the research progresses the interior becomes understood as a critical urban and social tool implicated in the production and exchange of our individual and collective identities.
These ideas upon the interior have been explored through the act of making. Using a method of reflective practice, a series of speculative design projects have been undertaken by the collaborative practice Making Distance consisting of RMIT University academics Roger Kemp and Anthony Fryatt.
The projects have allowed for the exploration of design processes, spatial and temporal conditions, and qualities of experience relevant to interior design. It has enabled the establishment of various design techniques within the work including operative diagrams, fragmented scenography and representational imagery. These techniques allow the work to simultaneously provide both spatial cues and levels of indeterminacy. Ultimately the PhD argues that these speculative design processes invite a subjective and empowering production of spatial experience. It positions the interior as critical social tool, a mediator between the self and others.
Examiners: Prof Gabriela Seifert, Dr Samantha Spurr Supervisors: Professor Sand Helsel, Dr Charles Anderson