Javed Shah / The Interpretation of “Interiority” through Research in Design Context of Public Space

The Interpretation of “Interiority” through Research in Design Context of Public Space Reformulation of Hypothesis

Author: Sarah Javed Shah, PhD Candidate - AUID, Politecnico di Milano; Assistant Professor, University of Engineering and Technology Lahore, Pakistan; Registered Architect, PCATP

Supervisor: Carles Muro, Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, Politecnico di Milano; Registered Architect, COAC

Research stage: Initial doctoral stage: 1st year PhD Candidate

Category: Paper


The term “interiority” means inner character or subjectivity and adhere to the vocabulary of confinement, enclosure, privacy, shelter, etc. In the architectural discourse, the notion of interiority has been frequently used to refer to conscious awareness, individuality, subjectivity, along with the inherent characteristic of the interior, besides the description of the nature of certain urban or exterior spaces. As a prospect to retort to various design questions of public space, this paper attempts to interpret interiority where it is formed by many conditions such as psychological, environmental, spatial, formal, programmatic, or a combination of all. With an assumption that interiority is a shared underlying aspect contributing towards the effective public qualities, some key instances of urban public space have been discussed and synthesized to illustrate the potential paradigm of the design practice. For further research, the paradigm will be “reversed”, in the realm of interior public spaces, as complex settings with a continuous flow of space, surfaces, forms, and voids, beyond architectural façade, through a blurred threshold between interior and urban (or exterior).

Keywords: Interiority; Public space; Continuity; Research in design context; Reformulation