Through a series of case studies from the mid-eighteenth century to the start of the twenty-first, this collection of essays considers the historical insights that ethno/auto/biographical investigations into the lives of individuals, groups and interiors can offer design and architectural historians. Established scholars and emerging researchers shed light on the methodological issues that arise from the use of these 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. 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 - and this volume reflects that turn, representing the fields of architectural and design history, social history, literary history, creative writing and design practice. Topics include masters and servants in eighteenth-century English kitchens; the lost interiors of Oscar Wilde's 'House Beautiful'; Elsa Schiaparelli's Surrealist spaces; Jean Genet, outlaws, and the interiors of marginality; and architect Lina Bo Bardi's 'Glass House', São Paulo, Brazil.
Contents: Introduction, Penny Sparke and Anne Massey ; No body’s place: on 18th-century kitchens, Carolyn Steedman; The many lives of Red House, Barbara Penner and Charles Rice; At home, 16 Tite Street, Richard W. Hayes; Writing home: the colonial memories of Lady Barker, 1870-1904, Emma Ferry; Body, room, photograph: negotiating identity in the self-portraits of Lady Ottoline Morrell, Inga Fraser; Inside out: Elsa Schiaparelli, interiors, and autobiography, Tom Tredway; Illusion and delusion: validating the artificial interior, Gene Bawden; Jean Genet, or the interiors of marginality in 1930s Europe, Cristóbal Amunátegui; Mario Praz: autobiography and the object(s) of memory, Shax Riegler; Art, architecture and life: the interior of Casa de Vidro, the house of Lina Bo Bardi and Pietro Maria Bardi, Aline Coelho Sanches Corato; Negotiating interiority: displacement and belonging in the ’autoportraits’ of Lydia Maria Julien, Harriet Riches; The private self: interior and the presenting of memory, Vesna Goldsworthy; Bibliography; Index.