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Ben Kelly discusses 111 Interiors

Lobby – Richard Hamilton (1984) selected by Peter Saville RDI
Lobby – Richard Hamilton (1984) selected by Peter Saville RDI
Lobby – Richard Hamilton (1984) selected by Peter Saville RDI
Written by
cbrittain1
Published date
20 April 2016
Lobby - Richard Hamilton (1984) selected by Peter Saville RDI

Lobby – Richard Hamilton (1984) selected by Peter Saville RDI

111 Interiors displays a series of the most significant interiors chosen by UAL staff, students, alumni and others which offers an alternative perspective on our creative community.

We caught up with UAL Chair of Interior and Spatial Design Ben Kelly, the exhibition’s curator, to find out more.

About the show

It’s a logical progression from my symposium: DEAD OR ALIVE – INTERIOR DESIGN held at the ICA last year. I invited 10 speakers and three moderators from the widest of perspectives and disciplines – artists, designers, writers, business, media and cultural institutions to consider if interior design is dead or alive.

Do iconic interiors effect and influence popular culture? Does interior design have cultural significance? I asked each speaker and moderator to select an interior that had influenced their creative and intellectual development and it produced a fantastic and diverse range of interiors and reasons why they were influential to each speaker and moderator.

Our Lady of Good Counsel, Catholic Church - Gillespie Kidd & Coia (1966) - selected by Mario Rossi, Senior Lecturer BA Fine Art

Our Lady of Good Counsel, Catholic Church – Gillespie Kidd & Coia (1966) selected by Mario Rossi, Senior Lecturer BA Fine Art

The idea

I’m interested in the ability of interiors to effect and influence the direction of popular culture and the wider world. Interior design holds a unique place within contemporary culture, it provides the context within which we live our lives, framing our understanding of the age in which we live and operate.

The bars, shops, homes and offices in which we act out our daily lives are understood more through their interior design than through architecture. The pioneering agents of cultural change through design, whether they are shops, clubs, exhibitions or museums influence through their interiors.

The interiors

I invited the UAL community including students, staff, alumni and invited speakers to contribute images of interiors which have influenced their creative and intellectual development. The exhibition is a portrait of a creative community. There has been no editing or selection process.

All contributed interiors have been included in the exhibition. We have published each contributor’s explanation for why that interior is important to them into a programme which will guide the viewer through the exhibition wall – this also folds out into a large poster of all the interiors.

Andy Warhol's Silver Factory - Billy Name (1962)

Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory – Billy Name (1962)

Ben Kelly’s favourite

I chose Andy Warhol’s silver Factory in New York. It was an important early influence for me and made me realise that interior design could also be art.

One piece of advice for designers exploring interior design

Be bold.

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