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An Interior in Its Own Right: ‘SPACES – Interior Design Evolution’

ADAM – Brussels Design Museum’s latest exhibition offers a sociological reflection of the aspirations and ideals of the past through an analysis of their interiors.

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A mirror of lifestyles and consumption, our interior bears witness to the great social upheavals and technological advances of our society. Its history intersects and is intertwined with that of architecture, design and decorative arts but also with popular culture, the social and economic sciences. Through images, photographs, fragments of magazines and selected furniture pieces, ‘SPACES -Interior Design Evolution’ follows the transformations of Brussels’ interior lives through six main themes, namely: the influence of technological innovations, the architectural developments of Belgian homes, the rise of decoration in the 1980s and 1990s, the growing consumerist society, the prosperity of the decoration market and the development of “the decorator” as a profession. In a scenography that evokes the likes of an interior design site, each theme focuses in on the way the interior spaces of Belgium’s capital city has evolved during the 19th and 20th century, and the way those who dealt with them personally and professionally experienced them.

Curated by Benjamin Stoz, the selected pieces on display reexamine to what extent the interior design of homes have been witness to the social revolutions and technological progress. Focusing on the images and magazine fragments featuring advertisements and sketches that have been chosen for this exhibition, it becomes evident how our personal spaces and the way we design them are a direct result of events that are beyond our control in the ever-changing world around us. The pieces have been selected from the museum’s own collection as well as the likes of influential institutions like CIVA, Design Museum Ghent, Museum Van Buuren, the King Baudouin Foundation, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the Centre Pompidou and private collections. 

Alongside these pieces, a series of interviews featuring important figures in the field, such as Pablo Lhoas (Dean of the Faculty of Architecture La Cambre Horta), Christophe Decarpentrie (decorator), Claire Bataille and Paul Ibens (interior designers) and Michel Simon (Ligne shop), reflect on the elements in the exhibition. In addition to showing the differences in aesthetic or stylistic approaches to decoration over the decades, the exhibition aims to show that analysing these spaces can offer a broader sociological reflection on the aspirations and ideals of each decade.

SPACES -Interior Design Evolution is on view from 29 May to 3 November 2019 at ADAM – Brussels Design Museum

Meubles et décors, spécial Benelux à l'expo, n°719-720(1958). Fonds faculté d'architecture, Archives et Bibliothéque d'Architecture de l'ULB
interior design ADAM Brussels
Loft 2009- Pablo Lohas-©Lohas&Lohas
Meubles et décors Nr.772 - 11-1962 – Mensuel de la maison d’aujourd’hui. Roger Landlaut édités par Erton-Photo. Ektachrome.
Meubles et Décors -n948-n3 septembre octobre -novembre 1985. Interior of Lydia Kumel - Private Collection
Louis-Herman De Koninck, Project for Mr. Gobert's studio in Stockel, 1924.© CIVA AAM, Brussels
L'intérieur moderne, article illustrated by Leon Sneyers and published in The Home, June 1914. Collection of CIVA, Brussels.
interior design adam museum
Gustave et Edouard Blondel, dining room Exposition Internationale des Arts décoratifs et industriels modernes de Paris, in 1925. © CIVA, Brussels
Décors-février mars 1977. Private Collection.
Albert Van Huffel - Intérieur 1925- KIKIRPA
Meurop - folder 1963- Collection Nicolas Anthoine.©Meurop
Loft-2006- Pablo Lhoas- ©Lohas&Lohas (2)
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