2nd Edition

Designing Liners A History of Interior Design Afloat

By Anne Massey Copyright 2021
    232 Pages 15 Color & 47 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    232 Pages 15 Color & 47 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    232 Pages 15 Color & 47 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Designing Liners: A History of Interior Design Afloat covers the interior design of these floating palaces from the mid-nineteenth century to the twenty-first century.

    In this new edition, the design heritage of the ocean liner is also explored in this age of a growing holiday cruise market. The book offers the first history and analysis of this highly significant aspect of the design of interiors, which mirrors and reinforces cultural assumptions about national identity, gender, class, and ethnicity. The interiors of ocean liners reflect the changing hierarchies of society and shifting patterns of globalization. The trajectory of the professionalization of interior design is the connecting narrative of the book, from the local decorating firm to the internationally renowned architect. It is an important addition to interior design research and takes this transitory building type as its subject.

    This book provides the first survey of the transient history of interior design in relation to the development of passenger shipping. The history of these great ship interiors is tracked, from their commissioning by the line owners; the materials, methods, and sources for the initial creation; their construction; their use; and their reception. The demise and re-purposing of the interiors is also covered in this new edition, with additional material on the South African Union Castle and P & O Lines.

    Drawing on a broad range of original research, Anne Massey’s approach combines interior design studies, design history, architectural history, and maritime studies. The new edition has been carefully designed to include black and white and colour illustrations.


    List of illustrations





    1. Decorating Modernity
    2. Luxury Interiors and Arts and Crafts Architects
    3. Beaux Arts Comfort on Board
    4. Floating Art Deco Showcases
    5. Modern Designer Liners
    6. Transatlantic Modernism and the Interior Designer
    7. Glamour and Sustainability


    Appendix 1: Interior Designers and Their Ships

    Appendix 2: Designing Liners: Notable Ships








    Anne Massey is Professorial Fellow at the University for the Creative Arts. She has written eight books, including Interior Design Since 1900, The Independent Group: Modernism and Mass Culture in Britain, 1945–59 and ICA 1946–68.

    "Designing Liners was the first study of ocean liner interior design. This revised edition adds detailed analysis of the glamorous, nostalgic interiors designed for today’s giant cruise ships while also considering growing concerns over the environmental impact of these behemoths and anticipating their future in an age of pandemic. It remains the definitive study of passenger ship interiors."

    Dr Gregory Votolato, Victoria & Albert Museum and Royal College of Art

    "Wonderful to see this seminal text in its second edition; updates on enduring popular fascination with ocean liners and the current compelling discussion of the cruise industry."

    Dr Harriet Mckay, The Cass School of Art, Architecture & Design, London