Book launch: Appropriate(d) Interiors

A book launch for the latest publication in Pratt Institute’s series Interior Provocations will feature discussion from Dr Harriet McKay from London Met's CREATURE Research Centre.

Date: 23 March 2022

A book launch for the latest publication in Pratt Institute's series Interior Provocations, Appropriate(d) Interiors, will showcase a panel discussion from a global panel of the book's authors including London Met's Dr Harriet McKay. Harriet is a research centre member at London Met's Centre for Creative Arts, Cultures and Engagement (CREATURE), and works on the contextual studies strand (CSS) of the School of Art, Architecture and Design's Interiors programmes.

Harriet's contribution to the book focuses on her investigation of Johannesburg's notorious apartment building Ponte City (1976). Variously labelled the Tower of Terror and a vertical slum in mythologised urban imaginaries, the building's Riches-to-Rags history provides a racialised narrative of the building's disintegration into from luxury 'whites only' living to a haven for drug lords and sex workers. Her chapter in this new text, A History of Appropriation and the Appropriation of History, Ponte City Apartments, Johannesburg goes behind the scenes at Ponte and argues that research based on interviews with current occupants tells a very different story. 

Appropriate(d) Interiors uncovers the ways interiors participate explicitly and implicitly in embedded cultural and societal values and explores timely emergent scholarship in the fields of interior design history, theory, and practice.

What is "appropriate" and "inappropriate" now? These are terms with particular interest to the study of the interior. Featuring thirteen original curated essays, Appropriate(d) Interiors explores the tensions between normative interiors that express the dominant cultural values of a society and interiors that express new, changing, and even transgressive values. 

An informative read for students and scholars of design history and theory, this collection considers the standards, assumptions, codes, and/or conventions that need to be dismantled and how we can expand our understanding of the history, theory, and practice of interior design to challenge the status quo.

Appropriate(d) Interiors, edited by Deborah Schneiderman, Anca Lasc and Karin Tehve, is available from Routledge.


Date: 23 March

Time: 5pm

Place: Online

The event is free but booking is required. Sign up on Eventbrite.