Aspects of Domestic Interiors, 1920–1970





This course examines themes in the construction and representation of the domestic environment from about 1920 to 1970. The focus is on British interiors, but reference will be made to American and European developments where appropriate. Revivalist styles and major design movements (notably modernism) are considered; however, the aim of the course is to move beyond the formal analysis of stylistic change to consider the expression of cultural concepts such as “hygiene,” “modernity,” and individual or national identity. Students are encouraged to engage directly with a wide variety of primary source materials, from trade catalogues, magazines, and house plans to verbal testaments, fine art, photography, and film. Other themes to be addressed include developments in particular room types and domestic goods (including household technology); issues of gender, modernity, and modernism; the role of women as homemakers and designers; and the home in public design debates about taste, economic progress, and national identity. 3 credits.