The radical innovations in architecture during the twentieth century were not all about exteriors; they also had a major impact on the interiors of homes. The rise of mass housing, mass production and mass consumption led more than once to the idea that the home interior as architectural project would become a thing of the past. Yet at the same time, certain formulated ideas (explicit or otherwise) about interior design continued to play a role in the design of homes; not only in private homes, but also in serial housing production. The transfer of these ideas primarily took place (and still does) via the home interiors themselves: via publication in media such as books, magazines, newspapers, television programs, films, exhibitions and catalogues. Throughout the twentieth century, the interior, which is by nature eminently private, thereby became a public phenomenon. In fact, many of the displayed interiors were specifically designed for this purpose. DASH 11, want to bring these interiors together under the heading of ‘period rooms’ (stijlkamers in Dutch). The concept of a period room, which is often seen as a purely museum-like exhibition principle, is expanded here to include the model home interiors that were exhibited at trade shows and events. The very fact that these interiors, free of any built context, were designed as the ideal backdrop for the intended lifestyle makes them perfectly suited for use as a scholarly resource in charting the development of the home interior throughout the previous century. In their essays, Irene Cieraad, Fredie Floré and Rika De Vos, Louise Schouwenberg, and Peter Lang will highlight crucial moments in the history of the exhibited interior – from Expo ’58 in Brussels to the provocative designs of the Italian Superstudio – and along the way will examine aspects of the architecture of the interior, the arts and commerce.
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