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Journal of InterIor DesIgn
Volume 32 Number 3 2007
a Case for a Typology of Design: The Interior archetype Project Jan Jennings, M.S., Cornell University
The “Interior Archetypes Research and Teaching Project”, initiated in 1997 at Cornell University, creates a typology of contemporary interior design practices that is derived from reiterative historical designs that span time and style and cross cultural boundaries. An argument for the significance of a typology of historic and contemporary interior design practices is based on ten years of experiments resulting from the project. Approximately one hundred archetypes have been developed by the principal investigator, graduate students, and associated educators. The article establishes the premises for this research model and defines the methodological, theoretical, and pedagogical implications of the study for both undergraduate and graduate learning experiences. The Interior Archetypes Project names contemporary design practices that have not been named, thereby providing designers with an interior-specific, history-specific, and contemporary designspecific vocabulary. The project also offers an innovative approach to further design criticism and design sustainability. The Interior Archetypes Project will disseminate a new knowledge base for the creative dimension of design—that is, the productions of its practitioners. The key method of delivery for the Interior Archetypes Project is its web site.
The “Interior archetypes research and Teaching Project,” initiated in 1997, creates a typology of contemporary design practices that is derived from reiterative historical designs that span time and style and cross cultural boundaries. This article argues for the significance of a typology of historic and contemporary interior design practices based on ten years of experiments resulting from the Interior archetypes Project. The article establishes the premises for this research model and defines the methodological, theoretical and pedagogical implications of the study for both undergraduate and graduate learning experiences as well as for use by practicing professionals and scholars. By definition, typology is concerned with those aspects of human production that can be grouped because of some inherent characteristics that make them similar. Classification systems lie at the heart of many disciplines. Within architecture, the two most common classifications have been by use (churches, prisons, banks, airports) and by morphology (buildings with long hall-shaped interiors, centrally planned buildings, buildings with courtyards, buildings with interconnecting compartments).
architectural historian adrian forty states that since antiquity classifications have been inherent to the classical system of architecture, and also that a typological classification of buildings by purpose has been in constant use since the eighteenth century. In Cours d’architecture, the mid-eighteenth-century french architectural writer and teacher J.f. Blondel compiled sixty-four building varieties he called “genres,” rather than types. another french teacher and writer, J. n. l. Durand, is credited for setting out the first morphological classification in his Precis...
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