idea journal 2022: Fictions, Fantasies and Fabulations EOIs due 1 October

Fictions, Fantasies and Fabulations: Imagining Other Interior Worlds 

idea journal 19 (01) 2022 


Maria O’Toole (2018), How loud is too loud? No. 12.

While the world reels, reconfigures, and recovers from the drama and trauma of 2020, wishing to thwart the effects of grief and comprehend what was once incomprehensible, there is all good reason to turn our imagination to ‘what ifs’, dreams, and other speculations as an antidote to hopelessness. This issue calls for contributions that consider the unlikely, improbable or downright impossible in spatial design. In recent history, fictions, fantasies and fabulations have offered productive opposition to the rampant instrumentality of pragmatism and functional planning. Their impact has instilled optimism, sparked alternative visions, and been sites of countless critiques of conformity and the status quo. Loosely defined impulses towards the unrealisable and the most illogical of things approached in the most logical of ways have led to unparalleled episodes of creativity in drawings, poems and material production. From Piranesi, Peter Greenaway, Kurt Schwitters, Dora Maar, Hans Op de Beeck, Ursula Le Guinn, John Hejduk, to Daniel Libeskind, explorations of the impossible have led to new interpretative frontiers that move the limits of interiority and spatial practices. Lest we not forget or become complacent with the contributory and often unrecognised impact of contemporary social media, advertisement, and technological surveillance that continues to shape interior worlds, experiences, and values. In many ways, there is as much focus on unpacking, making sense of and disproving the dangerous impacts of fictions, fantasies and fabulations as there is on setting the scene for dreams and magical realities. This issue recognises the complex story of fictions, fantasies and fabulations in spatial design, not as counter-productive forces, but as the necessary counter-balances which offer liberty from convention, propriety, and rational assumptions about behaviour, space, time, and material—the core elements of interior worlds. Far from retreating into solipsistic escapism, fictions, fantasies and fabulations serve as crucial sites for speculative invention, futuring, and critical reflection. Resistant to the reductive inertia of pragmatism, these generative properties reign in that mercurial shadow world of meaning and value not directly associated with cause and effect.

This call for papers and projects is intended to frame an open examination and exploration of the fictions, fantasies and fabulations in spatial and interior practices.It prompts us to draw, write, perform and record the critical edge of the unrealisable in an era that has literally experienced the limits of reason. As described by poet Franny Choi, there is no more time for poetry without stakes because ‘people are literally dying.’ There is no more time for creative practices that don’t ask questions that we ‘truly don’t know the answer to.’1 Choi’s sentiments air a sense of urgency for relevance as much as they point to the value and agency of poetic meaning and making in artistic, spatial and interior practices.–CB7k8&ab_channel=PBSNewsHour

Contributions for this issue can take one of the following forms:

DESIGN RESEARCH PAPERS that demonstrate development and engagement with interior design/interior architecture and spatial design history, theory, education and practice through critique and synthesis. The focus is on the documentation and critical review of both speculative research and practice-based research. 

PROJECT REVIEWS that critically evaluate existing built and un-built design-based works which seek to expand the nature of spatial and theoretical practice in interior design/interior architecture and associated disciplines.

VISUAL ESSAYS that use a combination of visual and graphic imagery (with or without text) to describe, communicate or represent an interior space or experience through a specific lens, approach or critical position.

INTERVIEWS with prominent theorists, scholars, academics, practitioners or other experts from the interior design/ spatial design/ interior architecture their associated fields.

REFEREED STUDIOS incorporate the creative and investigative work of a collaborative team made up of academics and students researching through design activity on a specific issue in detail. Rather than simply reporting the results, the article articulates questions, methods, historical and/or theoretical background and reflects critically on the design process and design responses.

PROPOSALS FOR BOOK REVIEWS to encourage debate into the emerging literature dedicated to the expression and expansion of the theory and practice of spatial design, interior design/interior architecture.

EXPRESSION OF INTEREST (EOI) Authors are invited to register their interest by 1 September 2021. An EOI is a 1-page PDF document that includes the author(s) name, affiliation (if any), email address, working title, the form the contribution will take, one key image, and a brief statement outlining the approach, question, issues and/or situations that will be explored. The EOI is reviewed by the guest editors only; it is not refereed. The EOI is a signal of the author’s intent to submit a full draft; it provides the editorial team with a sense of the topics being addressed and the scope of the review process. Guidelines for the full submission can be found on the idea journal website.


15 March 2021 > CFP distributed

1 Sept Oct 2021 > EOI due

1 Oct 2021 > Acknowledgement and editors’ comments on EOI sent out

15 Jan 2022 > Full draft for review due (late drafts will not be accepted)

16 Jan – 15 Mar 2022 > Double-blind peer review process

1 April 2022 > Notification

15 May 2022 > Revised articles submitted

1 June – 1 Aug 2022 > Copy editing, proofing, layout, check permissions, layout

15 Sept 2022 > Journal issue published

EOIs and questions specific to the idea journal and/or this themed issue can be directed to executive editor Julieanna Preston: