Craft, Space and Interior Design, 1855–2005  book cover
1st Edition

Craft, Space and Interior Design, 1855–2005

ISBN 9780754657064
Published March 26, 2008 by Routledge
244 Pages

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Book Description

Constructed space is defined by its shape, by the materials with which it is enclosed and by the objects that are placed within or decorate its exterior or interior. The interaction of these crafted objects or decorated surfaces with space provides viewers or inhabitants with visual clues about the environment as well as visual cues about decorum: viewers can know what kind of behaviour is expected and what the space means. Furnishings and dress, textile panels and clay pots, stained glass and gesso panels, all defined as craft or decorative art, give architectural space, defined as high art, its character: without craft, architecture is empty and devoid of meaning. This engaging collection of essays presents the first sustained exploration of the relationship of craft to architectural spaces. The book unravels the complex ways in which craft controls, manipulates, organises and defines space, to highlight how the relationship between craft and space can be understood as a form of communication between related parts that combine to form a unified whole.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Sandra Alfoldy and Janice Helland; Hot by design: the secret life of a Turkish bath in Victorian London, John Potvin; Space and the Victorian ecclesiastical interior, Jim Cheshire; 'Designful beauty': sensuality, tea and gesso, Janice Helland; Symbolism in a Scottish arts and crafts house, Annette Carruthers; Craft as union, craft as demarcation: the decoration at Belfast cathedral, Joseph McBrinn; Scottish Everyday Art , or how tradition shaped modernism, Elizabeth Cumming; 'The figure in the carpet': Saarinen House and the crafting of space, Bridget Elliott; The crafted interior: Elsie de Wolfe and the construction of gendered identity, Penny Sparke; East by North-West: the vessel and 20th-century studio ceramics, Tanya Harrod; Josef Frank's 'Aralia': from houseplant to 'djungel', Tag Gronberg; The interior of modernism: Catherine Bauer and the American housing movement, Cynthia Imogen Hammond; The metaphysics of craft: Anita Aarons's Crafts for Architecture, Sandra Alfoldy; New craft in old spaces: artist-designed rooms at Toronto's Gladstone Hotel, Amy Gogarty; Index.

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Sandra Alfoldy is Associate Professor of Craft History at NSCAD University, Halifax, Canada.

Janice Helland is Professor of Art History and Women's Studies at Queen's University, Kingston, Canada.


’The collected essays in Craft, Space and Interior Design, 1855-2005 make a pioneering contribution to the field of 'crafted space', a term used to define the symbiotic relationship between architectural space and the objects that animate it.’