Rethinking Inside the Box:

Reflections on the Interiors Forum Scotland 2007 Conference


  • Andy Milligan Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design
  • Ed Hollis Edinburgh College of Art
  • Alex Milton Edinburgh College of Art
  • Drew Plunkett Glasgow School of Art
  • Frazer Hay Napier University
  • John Gigli Glasgow Metropolitan College, Glasgow Caledonian University



Interior design, Interior architecture, Interior Forum Scotland


This discussion paper describes key findings from the international IFS (Interiors Forum Scotland) conference, ‘Thinking Inside the Box’, held at The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architecture, Design and the City in March 2007. In conjunction with an historical overview of interior design education in the UK, the authors describe the intention behind the conference, outlining its origins, aims and ambitions. The Interior Forum Scotland’s

lead role within the UK sector is discussed, as is its collaboration with the UK wide Interior Educators Council. Similarly, the IFS, in its first conference, is positioned against more established international interior design research communities, such as IDEA, (Interior Design / Interior Architecture Educators Association), amongst others. The authors speculate on the issues and themes highlighted by an international audience of interior design educators, researchers, authors and practitioners, and consider the future directions, challenges and issues driving interior design thinking internationally and design generally, and in particular, how these may influence the independent Scottish interior design sector. The paper and conference underpins interior design as an exceptionally broad and increasingly self confident spatial field, albeit one which operates within distinct interior frequencies from decoration

to architecture. It also examines the ways in which interior design educators, organisations and practitioners are reclaiming, refining and redefining this field. Interior design’s initial co- architectural / pro-decorative role is placed into context against new environmental territories and new challenges.


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How to Cite

Milligan, Andy, Ed Hollis, Alex Milton, Drew Plunkett, Frazer Hay, and John Gigli. 2007. “Rethinking Inside the Box:: Reflections on the Interiors Forum Scotland 2007 Conference”. Idea Journal 8 (1):16-37.



Design Research Paper