• Deviant Decoration: The Architectural Interior
    The Pennsylvania State University-Department of Architecture

Deviant Decoration: The Architectural Interior is a series of three public symposiums and related exhibitions organized to explore innovative approaches to architectural interiors that are altering design practice today. An under-researched area falling between design and cultural studies, the architectural interior will be newly re-envisioned through the lens of cultural topics under current debate including 1) gender studies, as this relates to the projected interior; 2) disability studies, connecting concerns of the impaired body within the engineered setting; and 3) ecological design, conveying the interior/ exterior interface between human occupants. This project emerged out of recognition of the limited capacity of educational institutions, professional practitioners, and community groups in non-urban regions to publicly address cultural and social issues in architectural design, especially given rapid changes in design practice. Dramatic cultural and societal changes further amplify the need to assimilate these key diversity issues into the design process.

Christine Gorby is the project lead, on behalf of the Penn State Department of Architecture, where she is an associate professor of architecture. Relevant research experience to this project includes teaching and interdisciplinary research on gender, material culture, and contemporary theory, including focused research on noted interior architect, Florence Knoll. As curator for Technical Innovation and Modern American Chair Design: 1935–65, at the Ball State University Museum of Art, Gorby researched and selected archival documents; provided thematic organization and curatorial narrative; and designed the exhibition and wrote instructive labels. Most recently, Gorby was curator for the first exhibition of the Deviant Decoration: The Architectural Interior series at the Penn State Rouse Gallery. Gorby further acted as conference coorganizer for the ACSA Northeast and Southeast Regional Conference. The idea for this national conference stemmed from an earlier symposium series organized by Gorby at Penn State entitled Reboot: Rethinking the Design Thesis.

It is the mission of the Pennsylvania State University School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture to serve as a leading national and international, studio-centered program in the art and science of architecture, which is responsive to the most important social, environmental, technological, and cultural challenges of the twenty-first century; and to achieve excellence in teaching, research, design, outreach, advising, and service to society.