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  • Interiority Complex: beyond binaries

Harriss, Harriet and House, Naomi, 2016, Book Section, Interiority Complex: beyond binaries In: Harriss, Harriet, Morrow, Ruth, Soane, James and Brown, James, (eds.) A Gendered Profession. RIBA Publications, UK, pp. 209-219. ISBN 978-1859469972

Abstract or Description:

This chapter argues for the interior as female – and to view this as a powerful position rather than an inferior one. Further, we speculate upon how the discourse and practice of interiors might facilitate a shift in gender relations within the academy and the built environment. To date, the gender debate has focused almost exclusively on the significance of the paucity of women architects in practice, without questioning the way in which interior design inversely mirrors this inequality. Professionally, interior design remains behind the eight ball, failing to challenge the gender biases within architecture and the construction industry at large, but more significantly unable to deal with the problem on the inside: namely, how to simultaneously redress the gender imbalance while also arguing for a practice and discourse that celebrates its feminine strengths.
The field of interiors is complex. Marginalized within critical discourse it is viewed from afar as soft and insubstantial, politely addressing the inhabitation of space without troubling the permanence of architecture. As a practice it sits outside of the remit of any professional organisation – the RIBA certainly has no interest in acknowledging the autonomy of the interior, and it remains persistently ‘other’ to architecture. Where architecture exerts confidence (arrogance even) in its singular projection of self, interiors is persistently dialogic, operating under the radar; poking at the edges of the discipline. Interiors is understood and largely accepted as architecture’s inferior sibling,lacking both words and voice.
Moving away from a discourse about the interior as a feminised space, this chapter proposes that the practice of interiors is a feminist tactic that disrupts the assumed ‘territory’ of architecture, putting it back together again and again, reconfiguring it anew.

Official URL: https://www.ribabookshops.com/item/a-gendered-prof...
Subjects: Architecture > K100 Architecture > K110 Architectural Design Theory
Architecture > K100 Architecture > K120 Interior Architecture
Other > Social studies > L300 Sociology > L320 Gender studies
Other > Education > X300 Academic studies in Education > X340 Academic studies in Tertiary Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
School or Centre: School of Architecture
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2018 23:59
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2018 21:30
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/3269

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