Interior Arcadias

Interior Arcadias by Mark Pimlott | ADA Rotterdam

Fragments of nature captured in an interior, particularly when they are alien or exotic, provide pleasure to its occupants. When brought indoors, nature imposes its own character and order, and the interior typically concedes in a fundamental way to its contents, and loses much of its substance. The story of such an interior is bound up with Enlightenment-born ideas regarding the categorization, possession and domination of the world’s natural contents. The nineteenth century witnessed an explosion of expressions of these ideas, which yielded the various building typologies we continue to be familiar with: the crystal palace, the arcade, the department store, the mall, and the atrium.

In an illustrated lecture, Mark Pimlott will give an account and a critical appraisal of the interior’s embrace of nature, from its first grand expression at the 1851’s Great Exhibition’s Crystal Palace to its commonplace manifestations in shopping centres, airports, and corporate office buildings.