This comment clearly indicates the primacy of the interior as a generator of form but design theory has historically emphasized buildings′ exterior, not its interior. And this approach, essentially sculptural, has often had less than a beneficial effect on the building′s occupants. That situation is, however, changing, and the interior is increasingly being viewed as the designer′s primary concern. The Interior Dimension provides a much–needed theoretical overview of interior space its history and character in an organized and comprehensive manner. Exploring the history of spatial design from the first century B.C. to the present, this innovative book reviews the part of architectural theory that relates to the interior, as well as such related disciplines as fine art, psychology, philosophy, literature, and the environmental sciences. The approach is eclectic, and seeks to identify those design concerns necessary to proceed "...from within to without."
The book′s three–part organization clearly distinguishes fundamental design elements, their derivation, and applications within a cultural context. Each section addresses increasingly complex issues in design, thus providing a base of understanding for the succeeding chapter. First, The Interior Dimension examines the importance of theory, as well as attributes of fundamental design elements and their perception. The authors stress the abstract nature and generative potential of even the simplest gesture, examining human spatial requirements both in terms of metaphysical aspects of visual elements and critical studies in perception. Second, it probes some of the positions that noted designers have historically held about design in general, and the design of interior space in particular. Individuals have been selected for their importance to spatial design, and arranged in chronological order so that their ideas may be seen in development. Alternative and opposing viewpoints contribute to a lively dialogue of concepts and opinions. Finally, The Interior Dimension addresses a range of technical, aesthetic, psychological, and ethical concerns that primarily though not exclusively affect the interior.
This section deals with broad issues in aesthetics and psychology, architectural semiotics, spatial communication systems, and primordial archetypes. The intent of this section is not to solve particular design problems, but to address the fundamental issues that concern design generally, and which remain of concern long after any specific application. Richly illustrated with photographs and drawings from both architectural and related sources, The Interior Dimension is intended to serve as a provocative and useful design theory text for students of architecture and interior design, both in formal class situations and as a reference work. But it should also serve as a valuable study aid for design professionals preparing to take the theory and history sections of the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam.
Finally, the issues raised by this work are so fundamental and broad, that it should appeal to anyone interested in the form and function of human dwelling.
The Role of Theory.
Form and Function.
The Vocabulary of Design.
The Grammar of Design.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF INTERIOR SPACE.
The Nineteenth Century.
A Bold New Century.
Emerging Building Types.
THE MEASURE OF INTERIOR SPACE.
The Human Dimension.
The Space Within.
The Enclosure Revealed.
Archetypes and Ethics.
Frank Vodvarka is Associate Professor of Fine Arts at Loyola University of Chicago, where he teaches graphic design, photography, and design theory. He holds a BA in Plastic & Graphic Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and an MFA in Graphics from the University of Chicago. His professional work has included graphic design, stage design, and architectural photography, and he is a member of the Interior Design Educator′s Council and the Design Communication Association.