The interior has never been given such attention as it is now, a time when maps of the world represent COVID–19’s movement as a ripple crossing continents, with daily recordings of cases increasing and decreasing, or coming to a halt between neighbouring countries’ now sealed borders. At the global scale, political borders have abstract boundary lines, yet on the ground, walls and poche of living spaces act as immediate buffers between individuals and neighbours. Even closer, face-masks intimately screen-off those friends and families not in one’s immediate bubble. We leave and return from home like scuba-divers exiting a submarine, or astronauts venturing forth from the protection of a spacecraft. The threshold moment is prolonged, preparing masks, gloves, scarves, keys, bank cards–hard currency is risky–everything ritualised… check for hand-sanitiser. On return, the process is reversed, everything left at the door, shoes, gloves, masks, wallet, purse, bags, packaging is removed, cleansed, hands are scrubbed in the way a medic would… timing is everything.
These near-sighted perspectives have become magnified over several months, drawing into focus emerging issues previously blurred. Things are re-prioritized, and we start to confront inequalities made visible with the intersection of the virus. New genres of interiors are forming within our traditional interiors, both physical and virtual, and the disease is making us look inside like we never have before.
Interior Archipelago–Postcards from Our Islands is an international project that seeks to capture the familiar, but transformed interior during this time. Daily routines have been interrupted and with that, our ability to travel at will, we primarily journey from room to room. Postcards recall travel while acting as souvenirs. This project seeks to collect souvenirs from lock-down in the form of postcard sized works. These might be images as one travels within a domestic setting, details, encounters online and similar found experiences. This collection will reflect the design communities from The Glasgow School of Art in Scotland and Singapore; the School of Interior Design at Toronto Metropolitan University in Toronto, Canada and the Academy of Arts & Design at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. The outcome will be an exhibition and publication will be pursued.
Patrick Macklin, Lois Weinthal and Wen Liang, December 2020
We would like to thank Alice Wenyi Huang, from the Toronto Metropolitan University School of Interior Design. Her work on the development of the Interior Archipelago website has allowed our interior design communities to come together through this collection of postcard-sized works.
• Format: A6 postcard 148x105mm, 300 dpi, in portrait or landscape
• Quantity: 1–5 (maximum)
• File size: 8MB maximum per image
• Submission content can be virtual, physical, sequential, encounters, meeting places, rooms, body
• Submission deadline: Submissions Ongoing
Submissions should be made through the submission page (link above) and questions can be sent through our ‘Contact’ page found in the ‘Menu’ at top.
Interior Archipelago is open to students, faculty and staff from each participating institutions’ Interior programmes and their guests.