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Stone, SH., 2011.

(In)Appropriate Appropriations

Output Type:Conference paper
Presented at:Interiors Forum Scotland September 2008. "Interior Tools, Interior Tactics : Debates in Interiors Theory and Practice
Publication:Interior Tools, Interior Tactics : Debates in Interiors Theory and Practice", 2011. ISBN: 9781907471148 1907471146

The paper discussed the post-modern practice of appropriation and the suitable (or not) re-use of images, forms or complete elements within the design or redesign of interiors. Spolia, an archaic term rarely used outside of the study of Roman and Medieval antiquities, describes the practice of recycling existing architectural elements by incorporating them into new buildings. The word itself is derived from the Latin spoils, a phrase used to describe the act of taking trophies, usually armour and weaponry, from the enemy after a battle. The spoils of war would either be worn as trophies or used to decorate the victors' houses and temples. In architecture and design spolia traditionally refers particularly to the re-use of the elements of the classical column: the shaft, base, capital and entablature. Spolia is a tactic that relies on contingency, availability and ease of supply. It relies on the materials that are to hand and the ease of their reuse and it is a tactic that relies on a collage like approach to reconfiguring buildings. The use of spolia is a device that can be seen in the practice of many contemporary designers and architects. The appropriation of elements from different sources, and the reuse of details or fragments from other contexts, can be seen in the work of Ben Kelly, LOT/EK, and many other designers. This paper explores the work of those and others.