Accepted Paper:

Living rooms and epistemological spaces: interpretations of the presence and absence of books with special attention to ideals within Scandinavian interior design  

Author:

Kristina Lundblad (Dep. of Arts and Cultural Sciences, Lund University)

Paper short abstract:

The Swedish population has a high ranking in surveys of reading habits, and e-books sales numbers are small. How does this fit into the Scandinavian interior design ideal of a empty space? The epistemological functions of books as elements of home is related to issues of interior design ideals.

Paper long abstract:

In many Swedish homes of today, the IKEA catalogue is close to be the only bookish object present. Empty and white the home has been transformed to a neutral and impersonal space where nothing reveals anything about the people living there. Life seems to have moved to social media, leaving the physical room, the home, uninhabited.

Books may be regarded as a vital part of life, but they do not fit well into the Scandinavian hyper designed void. Have the books too been relocated to digital devices, the bookshelves transfigured into digital ones, filled with e-books?

The Swedish population has a high ranking in surveys of reading habits, and e-books sales numbers are very small. How does this fit into the interior design ideals? The paper looks into these issues while at the same time raising questions about the epistemological functions of books as elements of home. Contrasting the void as a Scandinavian design ideal with the horror vacui ideal of the late nineteenth century interior design and its eclectic styles, absence and presence will serve as themes for the exploration of the individual's relation to the surrounding world as it is being manifested by means of books.

Panel Home11
Books create a home: exploring books and reading practices as domestic symbols and rituals