Before we can approach the tension between austerity and excess – or any other productive tension in a design practice – we must first enter the metaphysical space of ‘interior’ itself.

The notion of interior is always defined by at least three ‘working parts’: inside, outside, and (most important yet least noticed) the threshold setting one off from the other. Properly speaking, this threshold is neither outside nor inside; rather, in setting the limit between them, it partakes of both. Like the skin of a body or the cladding of a building, indeed like any surface, the threshold comes into contact with what lies on both sides of it, linking the two environments in the act of separating them. ‘A surface separates from out and belongs no less to one than to the other’ (Don DeLillo).

Published: 2003-05-29