2003 | Between Excess and Austerity

2003 IDEA Conference

8 to 11 August, 2003

UTS, Sydney

The 2003 IDEA conference was convened by: Harry Stephens, University of New South Wales and George Verghese, University of Technology Sydney

In 2003, IDEA convened an international conference themed ‘between excess and austerity’. The conference brought together academics, students, practitioners and other industry members who are interested in examining the ideological foundations of interior design and the basis upon which assertions are made about the ethical and political appropriateness of design practice. Endorsed by the IFI and the Design Institute of Australia (DIA), the primary purpose for the 2003 IDEA Conference was to promote the development of Interior Design and Interior Architecture with respect to its design quality and intellectual content and thus to promote academic rigor. The conference aim was to challenge premeditated thoughts, promote new concepts of thinking and unique ways of approaching the discipline.

From the conference call for papers and participation:

The conference will explore the space, between excess and austerity, in which interior design is presently located. But what is ‘excess’? What is ‘austerity’? Are we closer to one pole or the other? Where should we be? The conference is the formation for a common ground within which ideas can be openly and thoroughly addressed and held. The success of the development of an ethos for design rests on this collective. Between Excess and Austerity then, is the starting point for a collective and necessary revision of the ethos of interior design. [Between Austerity and Excess Theme Statement]

Professor Mark Kingwell, internationally recognized philosopher from the University of Toronto, Canada. Professor Kingwell is the author of several books, including the best selling In Pursuit of Happiness from Plato to Prozac, and has written widely on political theory in the age of multi-culturalism. In addition to his writings on contemporary culture in more than forty mainstream publications including Harpers Magazine, the New York Times, Utne Reader, and Adbusters he has lectured extensively throughout North America and Europe. His connection to the Royal Ontario Museum, the Foundation of Ethics and Meaning in New York, and his honorary doctorate in Fine Arts underscore his long-term involvement with design issues.

Conference Papers

  • Ms Suzie Attiwill (RMIT University), Di-vision/double vision
  • Dr Jill Franz (Queensland University of Technology), Interior Design criticism: between excess and austerity
  • Associate Professor Dorita Hannah (Massey University, New Zealand),(IM)MATER(IALITY) and the Black-Box Theatre as an empty space of reproduction
  • Ms Rachel Hurst and Ms Jane Lawrence (University of South Australia), The nourishing art
  • Associate Professor Douglas Lloyd-Jenkins (UNITEC, New Zealand), Keep it simple I said to my architect
  • Associate Professor Marina Lommerse (Curtin University), New initiatives in teaching, learning and research: Indigenous Australian perspectives in Interior Architecture
  • Mr Tom Loveday (University of Technology Sydney), Design, the decoration of culture?
  • Mr Bill McKay (UNITEC, New Zealand), Maori time: notions of space, time and building form in the South Pacific
  • Mr Darragh O’Brien (Monash University), Absolute zero – revealing the void
  • Ms Catherine Smith (Queensland University of Technology), Between-ness: theory and practice within the margins of excess
  • Mr Paul Smith (PhD student, Queensland University of Technology), The NetWorkPlace phenomenon – connecting the dots
  • Assistant Professor Tiiu Poldma (University of Montreal, Canada), An interpretive and contextual approach to Interior Design education
  • Tiiu Poldma and Jacqueline Vischer (University of Montreal, Canada), Growing a discipline: evolving learning practices in Interior Design
  • Ms Julieanna Preston (Massey University, New Zealand), Reporting a slight shift: economies of interior column cladding
  • Mr George Verghese (University of Technology Sydney), The way of the detail in Japanese design

Corporate Presentations

  • Ms Stefanie Flaubert, Director, korban/flaubert
  • Caroline Pidcock, Director, Caroline Pidcock Architects
  • Max Thomson, Director, Group GSA

Associated Events

The Gap Panel Discussion: A public panel discussion between the IFI, IDEA, practitioners, critics and students, examining ‘the gap’ between education and practice.
  • Ms Judith O’Callaghan, University of New South Wales, Australia – Moderator
  • Mr Michael Alvisse, Schamburg + Alvisse, Sydney, Australia
  • Mr Olle Anderson, President of the IFI, Scandinavia
  • Dr Elizabeth Farrelly, Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia
  • Mr Steve Fitts, Hassell, Sydney, Australia
  • Prof. Mark Kingwell, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Mr Ewan McEoin, Inside Magazine, Melbourne, Australia
  • Mr Andrea Mina, RMIT, Melbourne, Australia
  • Ms Simone Oliver, Geyer, Sydney, Australia
  • Mr Paul Priestman, Priestman Goode, London, United Kingdom
  • Ms Sam Spurr, Post-Grad Student, University of New South Wales, Australia

Ethos: an exhibition of students’ work – from IDEA member programs – which responded to a curatorial brief addressing the conference theme in relation to issues of practice and ethos as a way of working.

Between Excess and Austerity

Conference papers [2003 IDEA Journal]

Between Austerity and Excess Theme Statement [Download PDF]