Hidden Interiors

Amsterdam Interiors
Seminar Week: October 21–27, 2018

Dolls’ House of Petronella Oortman, Jacob Appel (I), ca. 1710

From the 17th century Golden Age of Dutch global influence, to the widely admired achievements of the post-war welfare state, the interior and the domestic realm have played an important role in Dutch culture. The elegant bourgeois canal houses that still give Amsterdam its specific urban character, were the setting for a society whose discretion compensated for an embarrassment of riches. These interiors were also characters in the portraits painted by Rembrandt and Hals, paintings that are precise in their depiction of societal mores, and possessions that would have adorned the interiors of their patrons.

There exist equivalent themes in the expansion of the city proposed by HP Berlage at the beginning of the 20th century in response to industrialisation and modernisation, and again in the sixties and seventies in work by such architects as Theo Bosch and Aldo Van Eyck. In Amsterdam, there is a consistent concern to balance the needs of greater society, as expressed in the city, with the emancipation of individuals, families and new social groupings.

On our Seminar trip we will study both the architecture and the art of these periods, with a particular emphasis on how the interior expressed the social structures and the individual desires of the Dutch over the centuries. We will meet with architects, historians and cultural commentators to extend our understanding of the indivisible connections between the built environment, culture and politics in Holland.

The seminar week is closely related to the themes of the design studio and we encourage students to enrol in both.

The costs are approximately 500-700 CHF including Transportation, Accommodation, 1 dinner, Entrances, Guides and Reader.

Category C, 21 students

Professor Adam Caruso
Assistants: Reem Almannai, Benjamin Groothuijse, Claudio Schneider, Florian Summa, Kai Zipse