Meaning of interior design

To understand the meaning of the word interior design it is good to make a clarification on what is meant by interior and what by exterior.
To better understand the two concepts, it is necessary to have a specific habitat as a reference.
For example, if we talk about interior design in a place with a cold climate, it will certainly be different from the interior design of a country where the climate is warm.
If we think of places with an extreme climate, such as the Artic, the first thing that comes to mind is the white color of snow and ice, and then fire, as an element of warmth and survival.

In traditional culture, igloos, or igluvijaq, in the traditional word of the Inuit populations, are forms of architecture that best express the use of the elements that nature makes available to them, where, among other things, it does not offer many possibilities . The use of ice, as an optimized module for the construction of the igloo, is a form of compositional intelligence integrated into the territory. The igloo, being a structure formed of snow, appears to us antithetical to fire. Yet, the heat released by the flames creates a thin layer of ice in the internal circular space, which does not allow the wind to pass through the walls. The fire within an environment made up of snow bricks serves to ensure survival and at the same time refers to a poetic idea of ​​living. Fire is a primary furniture, an archetype and center around which the members of a family and social group gather.

The interior design of extreme places has the possibility of combining a series of tools found in nature, warm materials such as wood and animal skins, sacrificed and killed to feed and to use their fur as protection from the cold.

The choices and the combination of these elements, determined by the contingent, also have an aesthetic, poetic quality and a psychological function of living within a habitat.
It is an example of how tradition can provide us with interesting references for the composition of a furniture.

Another aspect very important in the interior design of the Nordic countries, it is the element of light.

In cold climates, although not as extreme as the arctic ones, the sunlight in winter remains for a few hours. Sunlight is perhaps one of the most attractive elements in defining a space. Its presence from a psychological point of view is relevant. For this reason, the interiors of the houses have large windows that allow you to keep the light for as long as possible, as evidenced in the architecture of Eero Saarinen.
The interior design in these places takes on the image of a pale glow, made up of few but essential elements: fire, wood, large areas of light, upholstery. The fabrics are reminiscent of animal skins, as in the tradition of the Inuit peoples, but in contemporary culture, the animal is no longer sacrificed. It becomes symbolic presence, through the sign elaborated in the artifact. Nordic interior design is basically monochrome, like the nature that surrounds it.

Differently, if we think of the Amazon rainforest in the south of the continent, for example in Brazil, the scenario is reversed. It is a dense, rich and luxuriant environment from all points of view: vegetable and animal, a concentrate of colors that no chromatic scale would be able to organize. The forest is very populated and therefore noisy, but the noises that are heard do not trigger the threshold of the annoyance that we are used to overcoming in an urban context.
In this regard, I remember my trip to Brazil, on the island of Marajo, located at the mouth of the Amazon River. At certain times of the day when one was silent due to the very hot climate, noises came from the forest, similar to the shout of the crowd in a stadium, probably the sounds that were heard were the dialogues of the numerous monkeys that populated the territory. While the mosquitoes that inhabited the island, they were out of scale of macro dimensions, but decidedly kinder than those of Milan and I say this from experience.

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Roberto Burle Marx progetti di giardini

The internal space, in places close to the equatorial belt, coincides with the outside, because nature is rich and welcoming, the climate favors outdoor life. Living is reduced to a minimum, to shaded areas to shelter from solar heat or to areas organized for privacy and protection needs.
The interior design favors the windows, which in some cases replace the masonry walls. Unlike Nordic places, the glass element, in this context, serves to maintain a continuity between nature and architecture.

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Roberto Burle Marx, mosaico Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro

Transparency, furnishes the domestic space, through the luxuriant forms that surrounding nature makes available, forms that in enveloping the internal space, are expressed with a strength and an energy, which we feel to be part of our existence, like the landscape architect Brazilian Roberto Burle Marx, showed us through his work.
When the light reaches the hottest level, it can be filtered through modern or traditional screens that provide a dimension of tranquility and rest in the shaded areas. Light and shadow are concepts on which interior design can define the scenic spaces of living, in their interplay between interior and exterior, hot and cold. Color can help highlight the different areas, following the arrangement of light and structural elements for a furniture composition that offers an emotional dimension.


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