"Thinking" the domestic interior in post-colonial South Asia: the home of Geoffrey Bawa in Sri Lanka, 1960-1998

Robin Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper discusses the domestic interior of the architect Geoffrey Bawa at 33rd Lane, Colombo, Sri Lanka, created between c. 1960 and 1998. This interior will be assessed in relation to the intellectual technique of ?bricolage,? a term applied here to conceptualize the furnishing of the home as something that structures space, thereby making it meaningful. Previously, no sustained or critically engaged attempt has been made to assess his interior spaces as locations to ?think? a way of living appropriate to the newly independent Ceylon/Sri Lanka. His later domestic interiors, such as his own home, combine ?antique? colonial furniture with International Style furniture and contemporary Sri Lankan artworks. Through bricolage, Bawa 204 Interiors Robin D. Jones evolved a new mode of interior design for the island that allowed for the articulation of different narratives, although these narratives were not progressive in the modernist sense ? Bawa simply re-arranged what was already there. The interior of Bawa?s home is both atavistic and inauthentic. Finally, the postmodern traits apparent in Bawa?s home were used as a resource by his peer group to ?think? the South Asian, postcolonial domestic interior and to reconfigure the space of home as it is, rather than making it anew.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-226
Number of pages24
JournalInteriors: design, architecture,culture
Volume3
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes

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