The World Inside: Designing Modern Interiors, 1930–Today
8 Jul–28 Nov 2021
Opening Ceremony: Jul 8, 19:00
Inside, in an interior, is where we spend most of our time. The interiors in which we live, work, and spend our leisure time have a profound impact on our daily routines, yet the interior is only rarely the focus of relevant professional discourse.
The exhibition The World Inside: Designing Modern Interiors, 1930–Today, is the first more extensive such effort in Slovenia to look at interiors as a subject of systematic research and evaluation. Rather than focusing on interior design the exhibition looks into the interior as a constituent part of architecture and society.
Interiors constitute a discipline that blends various practices related to the inside of a building and various forms of housing. It is an interplay between architecture, interior design, and product design. As a rule, interiors represent elements that create space and atmosphere, such as proportions, light, acoustics, colours, textures, and materials; but this exhibition trains a spotlight also on the key actor that subjectively builds the interior or interiority – people, their daily rituals, practical needs, and lifestyles.
The World Inside looks into the period starting in the early 1930s, when Slovenian architects started testing, in the interior, the new spatial concepts that developed with the contemporary lifestyle. The common denominator between modern interiors in this period and well after World War II was the idea of liberation, be it from heavy, redundant decoration or from the rigid social norms spelled out through the strict separation of room functions, organisation of household chores, and the choice of furniture. Across five sections: New Cultures of Living, Body and Space, Outside/Inside, Comprehensive Environments, and Fluidity the exhibition opens up questions around the relationships between architecture, the interior, and people; it underlines the social and technological changes that shaped the development of the interior, people’s physical and sensory relationship with a space, relations with the exterior, nature and the city, principles of larger, total design, the role of furniture, equipment and fixtures, and transience and change as an inevitable fact of any interior space. The selection does not attempt to assemble a chronology or track the typological development of interior design, but instead focuses on the ideas behind individual projects.
The legacy of modern interiors continues in the 21st century, but with a new twist – while in the first half of the 20th century the interior was also the subject of social and political agendas, today a building’s interior stands as an expression of one’s individuality and of the plurality of lifestyles. In the course of the exhibition, which is designed as a process, we open up questions concerning the role of the media and the impact of information technologies on the interior, the porosity of the interior through the blurred lines between the private and the public, and on the home as the basic living cell of any human being. The World Inside therefore looks at the interior as an environment that promptly responds to its cultural and social context, and which itself plays an important part in the shaping of this very context.
Curators: Maja Vardjan, Cvetka Požar, Katjuša Kranjc