47: Inside Scoop S/S 2019


The 47th issue of Harvard Design Magazine is a renewed call to expand the architectural imagination to the interior. We go inside to consider the interior’s equipment and furnishings; its textures, colors, and atmospheres; its relationships with the body and the senses; and its potential to organize and influence human behavior, health, and everyday life.

“What about the inside?” asked Mohsen Mostafavi in 2008, when he began his deanship at the Harvard GSD. In the midst of a global financial crisis, the first iPhone release, and intensifying Obama campaign chants of “Yes We Can,” a disoriented generation of students and practitioners were reassessing their discipline. No longer tasked with generating monumental megaprojects, architects had to find other, more modest ways to make an impact. It was an apt moment to look inward—to reassess, and even redefine, the boundaries of the design disciplines.

Mohsen’s question prompted this magazine’s 29th issue, developed around the idea that the interior had been neglected, even trivialized, in practice and discourse. It was a call for experimental collaboration among the design disciplines, and for a reintegration of the realms in which they operate. A decade later, as Mohsen’s deanship comes to a close, we’ve gone inside once again by way of the rich history of the magazine itself.

Highlighting and reflecting on Harvard Design Magazine’s archive, and presenting innovative approaches to interior spaces past and present, “Inside Scoop” opens up the magazine as an interior itself, one housing vital objects of thought.


Table of Contents

Editors' Letter

What Else about the Inside?

Jennifer Sigler


Another Shade of Gray Space

Megan Panzano

Architecture without Content

Kersten Geers

Architecture’s Inside

Mohsen Mostafavi

Community Property

Penelope Dean

Curtain Wars: Architects, Decorators, and the 20th-Century Domestic Interior

Joel Sanders

Dress Codes

Lois Weinthal

Edges of Apprehending

Irene Sunwoo

FAMILI: Proxy Paranoia or Technological Camaraderie


FAMILIA: Corporeal Care and Affective Ties

Shannon Mattern

Gray Space

Alex O’Briant

Green Chaos: The Climatron and the Enclosure of Nature

Robert Riley

How Not to Die

Jenna Sutela

How to Get More from More

Sylvia Lavin

In Other Words

K. Michael Hays

Islands in the Landscape: The Case of Dropbox

Mark Lee, Sharon Johnston

Life in the Clinic

Michael Osman

No (Popular) Place Like Home: On Global Space and Personal Taste

Jim Collins

No Strings Attached

Penelope Dean

Notes from Underground: Plato’s Cave, Piranesi’s Prisons, and the Subway

Marshall Berman

Notes on More

Andrew Holder


Danielle Choi

Pennsylvania Station’s Everlasting Ruin: On Marshall Berman’s Tales of Old New York

Edward Eigen


McKenzie Wark

Rustic Modern Contemporary

Alice Friedman

Spheres Theory: Talking to Myself about the Poetics of Space

Peter Sloterdijk

Taking Hold

Erika Naginski

Talking to Myself about Peter Sloterdijk Talking to Himself

John May

The Incorporation of Dissent: Bürolandschaft’s Legacy

Andreas Rumpfhuber

The Interior as Setting

Mohsen Mostafavi

The Temperamental Interior

John May, Zeina Koreitem

Time’s Up

Barbara Penner

Uncanny Limbo: A New Type of Architectural Type

Sergio Lopez-Pineiro

Whatever Happened to “Whatever Happened to ‘Whatever Happened to Total Design?’?”

Andrew Holder

Whatever Happened to “Whatever Happened to Total Design?”? The Momentary Utopian Jouissance of the Bouroullec Brothers

Michael Meredith

Whatever Happened to Total Design?

Mark Wigley


Living Organisms

Maja Hoffmann, Mohsen Mostafavi

Photo Essay

Interior Evidence

Phillip R. Denny


Looking Inward: An Exchange on Recent Work

Michelle Chang, Andrew Holder, Jon Lott, Toshiko Mori, Mack Scogin, and Preston Scott Cohen with K. Michael Hays, Eric Höweler, John May, John McMorrough, and Megan Panzano


Editor in Chief
Jennifer Sigler

Deputy Editor
Leah Whitman-Salkin

Production Manager
Meghan Ryan Sandberg

Creative Direction & Design
With Projects, Inc.

Editorial Board
K. Michael Hays, Andrew Holder, Mark Lee, Jon Lott, Ashley Schafer

Olivia Casa

Rebecca McNamara

Gina Ciancone, Linda Just

AS Printon Trükikoda, Tallinn, Estonia