Fossicks for Interior Design Pedagogies

Preston, Julieanna. “Fossicks for Interior Design Pedagogies.” In After Taste: Expanded Practice in Interior Design, edited by Kent Kleinman, Joanna Salisbury-Merwood and Lois Weinthal, 92-109. Cambridge, MA: Princeton Architectural Press, 2011.


To propose pedagogy for interior design is an auspicious undertaking. This essay revisited scholarly texts pivotal to my own education such as those by John Dewey, Rudolf Steiner, and Paulo Freire to check that I understood the magnitude and scope of the task at hand. Though I continue to be in awe of such works, any daunting pretensions associated with pedagogy diminished; pedagogy, simply translated, is how and what one teaches, a strategy directed by one’s philosophical values. To explore the pedagogy of any creative process, especially a discipline embroiled with professional practice and industry such as design, is a complex charge. Interior design harbors what I consider to be a special set of considerations: it is a subject seeped in the history of the domestic sphere, decoration, upholstery, and home-economics and yet it is a contemporary field linking personal lifestyle to the gross national product and international trade. In only a few generations, interior design has shifted from what some would say is a vocational aptitude for the arrangement of home furnishings to a multi-million-dollar-a-year enterprise based on numerous bodies of knowledge and expertise such as building construction, health sciences, environmental psychology, spatial aesthetics, and cultural discourse on space, place, body, and affect. This relatively new and burgeoning design subject is a producer as well as a product of contemporary culture.


After Taste is available at Princeton Architectural Press