interior design

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View of an opulent bed with ornate hangings
A Bed for a King
An opulent bed, almost completely dominated by its hangings, pushes at the edges of the border in this etching by the French designer and architect, Daniel Marot. This design is for a state bed (lit d’apparat), a bed that was purely ceremonial rather than functional, and kept in royal palaces and aristocratic residences in the...
2014 Winners’ Panel
Join us for a special panel discussion featuring our 2014 National Design Award winners. Panelists will discuss what drives and inspires them as designers, and include John Edson, President, LUNAR (Product Design Award); Aaron Koblin (Interaction Design Award); Narciso Rodriguez (Fashion Design Award); and Robin Standefer, Principal, Roman and Williams Buildings and Interiors (Interior Design...
View of a masquerade in a fantastical hall
Let’s Dance!
Dancers in outrageous costumes and masks mingle in a lavish interior. This finished drawing likely depicts a Parisian vauxhall, which were public entertainment spaces, often set in, or near, pleasure gardens. They were first popularized in seventeenth-century England, and became fashionable in France in the late 1760s with the construction of the Colisée (The French...
Imaginary view of a prison interior
The Interior of Nightmares
Prison design has been a topic of debate and a site for innovation, even in the eighteenth century. This etching is Plate 14 from a series of imaginary prison interiors designed by the Roman architect, designer, and print maker, Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720- 1778). This print is both an exploration of the limits of the...
Drawing showing female personification of Truth and Fame on a spandrel
Between Fame and Truth
This drawing is a design for a spandrel, the roughly triangular space between the left or right exterior curve of an arch, by the French academician and painter François Boucher.  The drawing is executed with black chalk, pen, brown ink and wash and represents the personification of truth and fame honoring Louis XV. In the...
Print showing two elaborate tureens on either side of a rococo centerpiece
Surf & Turf: A Silver Tureen for a Duke
Eighteenth-century meal services were elaborate affairs, as exemplified in this print showing tureens and a table center piece designed by Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier for Evelyn Pierrepont, Duke of Kingston-upon-Hull in the 1730s. Meissonnier worked for Louis XV, becoming  orfèvre du roi (goldsmith to the king) in 1724. This engraving is plate 115 in folio 72 of...
Cartouche with a papal crown and emblems of death
A Papal Graveyard
This is a design for a cartouche by the French académician, ornemaniste, and painter Jacques de Lajoüe (1687- 1761). It was etched by Gabriel Huquier as plate 4 in his Second book of Cartouches (Deuxième livre de Cartouches), which was published in 1734 (as established by Roland Michel). The ascribed date locates this at a...
Elevation drawing of an opulent bedroom in the Hotel de Soubise, Paris
A Princely Bedroom
The Hôtel de Soubise is a familiar sight for many researchers of French history. Located at 60 rue des Francs-Bourgeois in the 3rd Arrondissement, the building is now used as one of the main branches of the French National Archives. This drawing after the French architect Germain Boffrand  (1667- 1754) shows an elevation of the...
Joshua Aidlin & David Darling on Design
Aidlin Darling Design is this year's National Design Award winner for Interior Design. Hear them speak about designing for all senses—and even emotions—through thoughtful interiors. The National Design Awards were conceived by the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum to honor lasting achievement in American design. The Awards are bestowed in recognition of excellence, innovation, and...