The three most substantial aspects of any successful interior today are a curated-style selection of objects, a strong presence of handcraftsmanship, and the notion of storytelling. Interior designers have taken on the dual role of curators and poets in their quest to achieve interiors that are meaningful, interesting, personal, and inspiring. These are the values which inject interiors with soul and contemporary identity while giving people a sense of connection. Every era is characterized by different values for those creating interiors—such as designers, decorators, and architects—in pursuit of realizing the idealized spaces of their time. Therefore, interior spaces have always been among the most substantial expressions of the culture, taste, and politics of their zeitgeist. There were times when the interior was a self-expression of its maker, and at others it was an expression of political values. As it is now, it is the full expression and biography of the people who live in it.
To fully experience and understand the territory of the interior, one must know its history and defining characteristics. The complexity of the interior lies in the conceptions and issues of consumer culture, taste, marketplace, living spheres, changing style, mass media, and technologies. In the new series ‘Interiors: Past and Present,’ design historian and connoisseur Daniella Ohad will host 10 weekly conversations with interior designers, historians, and scholars within illuminating dazzling interior spaces. These conversations will explore their identities in the past and the present while revealing what makes a space quintessential, great, and powerful.
February 21 - Nicolas Schuybroek, Brussels
February 28 - Alyssa Kapito, New York
March 6 - Marcio Kogan of Studio MK27, São Paulo
March 13 - Naomi Pollock on the Japanese Interior
April 3- Sandra Weingort, Miami
April 10 - David Netto, Los Angeles
April 17 - Iwan Strauven on Victor Horta and the Art Nouveau Interior
May 1 - Ashley Hicks on David Hicks
May 8 - Daniella Ohad on the Interiors of the 20s & 30s: Between Tradition And Modernity
May 15 - Michelangelo Sabatino on the Farnsworth House.
Daniella Ohad is a design influencer, historian, educatr, writer, talk show hostess, curator, keynote speaker, who received her PhD degree from the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design and Culture. For the past two decades, she has been committed to education in the field of design culture; history and theory; interiors; material culture; contemporary design; connoisseurship; and the decorative arts. She has taught in some of the world’s leading art institutions, including the School of Visual Arts, Pratt Institute, Parsons New School for Design, Cooper Union, and the New York School of Interior Design, and has spoken in conferences and events worldwide.
Her articles and critiques have been published in magazines and in peer-review journals, and she has curated and hosted such programs as Dialogues with Design Legends at the 92 Street Y; the talk show Spring/Harvest Dialogues; the video series The Collector; programs for the Italian network Skyarte. Ohad is a moderator and speaker in design talks and events and has hosted some of the leading talents in the world of architecture and design on stage in such venues as Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design, Sotheby’s, Museum of Arts and Design, Center for Architecture/AIA, Design Miami, and more. She has been a member in acquisition committees of NYC museums, and her blog Daniella on Design attracts hundreds of thousands of readers weekly. She lives and works in New York City.
Kiyonori Kikutake, Sky House, in Tokyo, 1958. Photo © Osamu Murai (featured in the book 'The Japanese House Since 1945' by Naomi Pollock