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Contribution to Book
Beyond the Visible: Skillsets for Future Interior Architecture Practice
The Interior Architecture Theory Reader (2018)
  • Caryn Brause
In the coming years, interior architecture has the potential to occupy the very center of architectural design practice. As a proportion of all dollars spent within the construction market, the sector of “alterations” has risen to new heights during the last decade. This trend is projected to continue as demographics and other factors, such as commercial vacancy and an increasingly mobile workforce, lead the industry to devote less market share to new construction and more to renovating existing facilities. In a future likely characterized by increasing resource scarcity, finding the most appropriate solution to a given design problem may mean favoring an inventive reimagining of current infrastructures rather than a focus on new construction. Claiming this central role in an altered practice will require interior architecture practitioners to develop new attitudes and analytical skillsets for future success.
To address the realities of this future practice, the field of interior architecture must attend to more than the visible, physical surfaces that we can see and touch; rather, it must advocate spatial intelligence as one of its core professional services. This spatial intelligence enables practitioners to first assess existing building stock for both immediate programmatic potential and “next use,” and then apply tactics that foreground flexibility and adaptability. This essay examines the value of spatial intelligence in light of emerging conditions and suggests material strategies that can be applied to future practice, such as reconfigurability, modularity, planning to accommodate future renovations, and designing to enable ongoing personal customization.
  • architecture,
  • interior architecture,
  • resource scarcity,
  • renovation,
  • professional practice
Publication Date
January 22, 2018
Gregory Marinic
Citation Information
Caryn Brause. "Beyond the Visible: Skillsets for Future Interior Architecture Practice" The Interior Architecture Theory Reader (2018)
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