n Image & Text : a Journal for Design - An interpretation of the role of meaning in interior design

Volume 26, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1020-1491



The cultural role of the interior artefact, through the representation and interpretation of meaning, is considered in this article. This follows Umberto Eco's moderate hypothesis of culture in which all cultural phenomena can be studied as contents of a semiotic activity and in accordance with Jeff Lewis's construct of culture as a collection of meanings. The 'interior artefact' that is considered here is the physical manifestation of interior design as a professional practice in the built environment and not a general product of human activity. It is assumed that successful interior artefacts are dependent on the generation of meaningful images and their appropriate spatial interpretation. The interior artefact is a material artefact that creates and communicates meaning; it offers the framework for situated meaning and is the result of that meaning. The interior artefact is the spatial embodiment of the visual identity imagined by the interior designer on behalf of the client. In this context, interior design is considered as a cultural activity with importance for human development, which includes the utilisation and development of identity. The article considers identity to involve more complexity than merely expressing categories of belonging (such as race and gender). In interior design the generation and interpretation of meaning is dependent on the visual presence of cultural discourses; the article concludes with a brief discussion of some of these.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error