The First Interior? Reconsidering the Cave


D. J. Huppatz


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Journal of Interior Design

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As a relatively new conceptual narrative, the history of interior design has various potential starting points. Thus far, interior design histories have followed either art, architectural or decorative arts histories in order to establish a coherent, progressive narrative that might both contextualize and frame possibilities for contemporary practice. While older historical surveys of the discipline typically located the origins of interior design in ancient civilizations such as Greece or Rome, recent historical surveys have followed an art historical convention in locating the origins of interior design in the Paleolithic caves of Europe. This paper contains a review of literature on the beginnings of interior design's historical narrative, as well as a reconsideration of the cave as a conceptual foundation for interior design theory and practice. The Paleolithic cave is here re-evaluated as both an historical origin that distinguishes interior design history from architectural and art history, and as a speculative, theoretical space rich with possibilities.

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