The Emergence of Prevailing Stereotypes
Interior design as we know it today evolved through two wide historical arcs. The first, the distant past, involves the deliberate modification of human circumstances that began in the cave. The second, much more recent and better documented development has to do with the emergence of the modern identity of the interior designer, a process that has taken place over the past two centuries.2
This second development is not an isolated one; the profession emerged at the same time as other specialized design disciplines, Kitchen remodeling including industrial and graphic design. This period also saw the formalization of architecture as a profession that was almost wholly independent of the practical skills of the builder and the technical knowledge of the engineer. The shock of the Industrial Revolution – in particular, the mass production of goods by semiskilled laborers rather than accomplished craftsmen – forced the nascent design disciplines to assess their relationships to the crafts they succeeded.
In fact, it was the desire to reestablish a measure of unity between manufactured goods and the craftwork of past eras that brought industrial design into being in the mid-nineteenth century. Both the Arts and Crafts movement in England at the turn of the twentieth century, and the Deutscher Werkbund in Germany a couple of decades later, sought to recapture for the production of industrial goods a know-how and sensitivity that had been lost to automation. More importantly, the profession that began to emerge aimed to create new knowledge that would make it possible to shape objects with care and quality without sacrificing the advantages of machine production.
While the interior and considerations about it, which have been present since man first evolved, predate all other design concerns, interior design does not have the sort of clear progression that can be traced in product design. Its very nature as a backdrop for all human activities, together with the lack of any defined theory of practice, make pinpointing its exact origins tricky. However, it is possible to uncover some information by looking at the crafts that have historically pertained to interiors.
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