The Flexibility Imperative, the Transformation of the Building, and the “Unbecoming” of the Traditional Interior


  • Lubomir Popov Bowling Green State University



Interior Design Philosophy, Interior Design Theory, Spatial Flexibility, Spatial Paradigms.


A shift toward the post-modern in the humanities has fostered novel discourses on spatial phenomena including the production of space, the spatialization of society and culture, and the becoming of interiors. A recent debate on the unbecoming of interior had both puzzled me and encouraged me to explore further and to reinterpret emerging ideas in the interior design academic community. These new developments generate opportunities for investigating spatial phenomena in unconventional and novel ways, construing them as products of changing social practices rather than technical action or artistic serendipity. The problem of this study is the unbecoming of interior as a result of the new sociocultural realities. These realities have led to the unbecoming of the conventional building and in effect, the unbecoming of the interior the way society construes it today. The methodology utilizes a Symbolic Interactionist perspective and a case study approach. The paper interprets the becoming and unbecoming of interior as a dialectical processes of developing and changing relationships between types of spatialities and human agency with respect to particular sociocultural context. The findings highlight how the concerns with social indeterminacy and unpredictability translate into a requirement for building flexibility and then into the unbecoming of conventional spatial paradigms and the interior the way we know it today. These ideas spur questions about the nature and purpose of buildings and interiors, the relationships between them, and the role of impending cultures in the production of new kinds of spatialities.

Author Biography

  • Lubomir Popov, Bowling Green State University

    Lubomir Popov is a Professor in the Interior Design Program, Bowling Green State University, Ohio, U.S.A. He holds Ph.D. degrees in Sociology and Architecture. His research examines sociocultural aspects of built environment. Currently he is exploring a wide range of related areas that include philosophy of space, sociospatial interactions, social design, user culture, and human activity.


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