Binding Interiority


  • Maria Macken Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University,



Interiority, Spatial design, Binding interiors


Architectural space is usually documented in the form of orthographic projections, that is, plan, section and elevation drawings, with perspective and three-dimensional models. These render the space in a particular way and hence have limitations and specificity. The artist’s book – that is, a book made as an original work of art, with an artist or architect as author – offers a different mode of presenting documentation and reading representation. ‘Binding Interiority’ argues that the qualities and characteristics of the artist’s book, coupled with the content of architectural documentation, coalesce to form a mode of three-dimensional representation conducive to particular and different readings of drawings, representation and the interior. Through Charles Rice’s writing on interiority, and ‘interior’s doubleness’, this paper explores the book’s interiority. Works by the author, and others employing volumetric devices, such as pop-up and ‘peepshow’ books, demonstrate aspects of this interiority. In particular, the cut and fold ‘origami architecture’ of Masahiro Chatani and the spatiality of the Japanese technique of okoshi-ezu, or ‘folded drawings’, are examined.These drawings which have a three-dimensionality to them, and employ a book-like folding structure, relate to the notion of the book as a folded model.This paper examines the way in which interiority can be present within the representation of interior architecture, that is, representation itself that has interiority, in the form of the book.As will be demonstrated, this interiority shifts the perception of space and the objecthood of the representation, and introduces a temporal reading of representation.


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Author Biography

Maria Macken, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University,

Marian Macken is an artist, designer and educator, currently Associate Professor of Architecture at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, China. Her research and teaching interests are in representation, design studio and the intersections between architecture, landscape architecture and visual art. She was awarded a PhD, by thesis and creative work, from the University of Sydney in 2012.This work examines the role of artists’ books as a documentation of architecture, with particular interest in the implications and possibilities for architectural drawing and exhibition as design outcome. Marian's work has been acquired by various international public collections of artists’ books and she has undertaken visiting artist residencies in London,Tokyo and Wellington, New Zealand.




How to Cite

Macken, Maria. 2012. “Binding Interiority”. Idea Journal 12 (1):28-45.



Design Research Paper