The Past in the Future Interior

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In 2010 Rem Koolhaas observed that while the ‘empire of conservation’ was greater than it had ever been, its purpose was becoming more and more opaque. There’s a part of me that doesn't care: I love historic interiors: period rooms, reserved behind red ropes, Pharaoh-esque furnishings, with tables laid for meals that will never be eaten are stilled in time. But they are weird: stuffed with antiques, period rooms are modern phenomena no more than a century-and-a-half old; and in another 150 years our descendants will find them as odd as the tomb of King Tut. How, if they still exist at all, will the interiors of the past be experienced in the future? And, remembering that by then, we will ourselves be the past, what will happen to the interiors we have ourselves created? This Is a speculation about a museum which does not yet exist, although its exhibits already surround us. In 2010, Koolhaas asked what the past was for. In this chapter I propose to extend the question and ask what it will the past be for, and how will we experience it, in the future?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Future of Interiors
EditorsHarriet Harriss, Kevin Walker, Graeme Brooker
PublisherRoyal College of Art
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2019


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