Doctoral dissertation currently under development at Princeton University: "Circulating Interiors: The Logics of Arredamento and the Furnishing of National Imaginaries in Italy 1922-1945
Dissertation Advisors: Lucia Allais and Beatriz Colomina
This project examines the transformation of architectural interiors in Italy throughout the fascist period, considering the changing forms of articulating domestic spaces both at the scale of the home and at that of the nation.
Throughout the fascist period, Italian discourse on interiors conceptualized its object of concern as "arredamento"—a term meaning both furniture and the ensemble of elements that furnishes a livable space. While the word "interni" was also used at the time, the emphasis on "arredamento" signaled a distinct interest in the material elements that construct an environment, different both from the association between interior and interiority of the German philosophical tradition and the insistence on social control of French modern practices of the interior. Italian discourse transformed the interior from a unified and enclosed realm, as it was hitherto understood, into an ordered arrangement of elements that moved beyond stable boundaries: Curated displays of furniture and interior ensembles were shaped by the transfers of objects in the market, reconfigured by processes of information circulation, and articulated in relation to the movement of people throughout the territory in different kinds of migratory, colonial, and touristic endeavours.
These forms of circulation manifested in architectural interiors mobilized by political, commercial and media agencies in films, specialized magazines and commercial showrooms, but were not limited to those. These interiors put in motion and managed the use and meaning of the great mass of modern interiors of the nation, all of them connected within material and imaginary networks.