Interior Design: Then and Now

Let’s learn from the best interiors of the past and present, interiors of substance, narratives, identities, and inspiration. 

The three most substantial aspects of any successful interior today are a curated-style selection of objects, a strong presence of handcraftsmanship, and the notion of storytelling. Interior designers have taken on the dual role of curators and poets in their quest to achieve interiors that are meaningful, interesting, personal, and inspiring. These are the values which inject interiors with soul and contemporary identity while giving people a sense of connection. Every era is characterized by different values for those creating interiors—such as designers, decorators, and architects—in pursuit of realizing the idealized spaces of their time. Therefore, interior spaces have always been among the most substantial expressions of the culture, taste, and politics of their zeitgeist. There were times when the interior was a self-expression of its maker, and at others it was an expression of political values. As it is now, it is the full expression and biography of the people who live in it.

To fully experience and understand the territory of the interior, one must know its history and defining characteristics. The complexity of the interior lies in the conceptions and issues of consumer culture, taste, marketplace, living spheres, changing style, mass media, and technologies. In the new series ‘Interiors: Past and Present,’ design historian and connoisseur Daniella Ohad will host 10 weekly conversations with interior designers, historians, and scholars within illuminating dazzling interior spaces. These conversations will explore their identities in the past and the present while revealing what makes a space quintessential, great, and powerful.
Wednesdays, 12:00-1:15 pm EST
Kiyonori Kikutake, Sky House in Tokyo, 1958 © Naomi Pollock,
The Japanese House since 1945.
Sandra Weingort, Interior Lower East Side, Manhattan, 2019 © Sandra Weingort.