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A collaborative publication project that brings together an editorial team situated in Milan, Madrid and Melbourne to foster an international research network addressing the proposition urban + interior. (Image: Mark Pimlott Stockholm S 2003, cover of URBAN + INTERIOR – IDEA Journal. Cover design: Rafael Gomez)

Unprecedented movements of people, growth in population density and forces of capitalism and globalism shape the twenty-first century urban environment and transform how people live in the world – spatially, temporally and subjectively. In the disciplines of interior design, interior architecture, architecture, spatial design and urban design, one encounters the coupling of the conditions of ‘urban’ and ‘interior’ with increasing frequency. Urban interior, interior urbanization, urban interiority and urban interior design are used as provocations for designing, teaching and writing – researching and thinking – in cities and cultures as diverse as Milan, Madrid, Melbourne, Jakarta, Austin, London, Stockholm, Bangkok, Singapore and Bogotá.

While some might see this as the bringing together of vastly distinct conditions and scales, the conjunction – urban and interior – engages the potential of practices and techniques of disciplines concerned with interior and urbanism in new ways involving multi-scalar, multi-cultural, multi-discipline approaches. A rethinking of the concept of interior is invited where the defining characteristics of enclosure, form and structure are opened to other possibilities than an equation with the inside of a building. ‘Interior’ is introduced here in an expanded sense. A thinking differently about urbanism and the concept of ‘urban’ is also invoked.

The question of, and conjunction of, urban + interior is a critical one in the contemporary context where the inhabitation of urban environments and cities has exceeded the population living in rural areas. The aspiration for publication is to gather this emerging trajectory composed of practices, techniques, and genealogies for future practice.

This project sits under the urban interior {UI} umbrella which was set up in 2007 to create a space for and focus on urban interior projects. {UI}’s composition changes as different people connect and collaborate on projects. To date this collective has included different practices and disciplinary nuances from interior design, industrial design, landscape architecture, architecture, visual art, craft, fashion, performance-based practices and sound.

Contributors to URBAN + INTERIOR include:
Paramita Atmodiwirjo, Yandi Andri Yatmo and Verarisa Anastasia Ujung (Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia); Barbara Di Prete, Davide Crippa, Emilio Lonardo (Politecnico di Milano, Italy); Barbara Camocini, Daniela Petrillo and Agnese Rebaglio (Politecnico di Milano, Italy); Gretchen Coombs (Queensland University of Technology, Australia); Chunfang Dong (Tongji University, China) and Jing Xiao (City University of Hong Kong, HK SAR); Evelyn Kwok (University of Technology Sydney, Australia); Valerie Mace (University of the Arts London, United Kingdom); Tine Poot, Maarten Van Acker and Els De Vos (University of Antwerp, Belgium).

Book cover: Urban Interior. Informal explorations, interventions and occupations, edited by Rochus Urban Hinkel, Germany: Spurbuchverlag, 2011. Book design: Stuart Geddes.
Urban Interior poster. Design: Liz Micheledes. Photograph: Jacob Walker.

Dr Suzie Attiwill
Research Collaborators
Professor Luciano Crespi, Politecnico di Milano, Italy.
Dr Davide Fassi, Politecnico di Milano, Italy; Tongji University, China.
Dr Elena Enrica Giunta, Politecnico di Milano, Italy.
Belén Hermida, Universidad CEU San Pablo, Spain.
Industry Partners
Interior Design / Interior Architecture Educators Association (IDEA)
Date: 2015-2016
Status: Current