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How deep is the rabbit hole? – a deeper exploration of the position of interior design in South Africa

By Amanda Breytenbach


In this paper the movie, The Matrix, is used as a reference to the current situation experienced by the interior design profession in South Africa. In particular, reference is made to the scene where the reaction leader Morpheus presents the hero, a computer hacker Neo, with two options. He needs to choose between taking a red or a blue pill. The blue pill will allow him to continue the existence that he knows within the computer simulated world; whilst the red pill will take him on a journey of discovery beyond the world he knows and enable him to explore – how deep is the rabbit hole? The paper commences with an explanation into the current debates around the identity and position of interior design in South Africa and thereafter attempts to explore a deeper understanding into the role of interior designers in the design sector in South Africa. Through this deeper exploration, the paper attempts to identify the gaps that exist in industry which require the attention of the interior design profession as they undergo a process of professionalization. With this discussion two main research questions are presented. Firstly, what is the matrix which determines the current position of interior design in South Africa? Secondly, what will the interior design profession gain if it explores deeper into the real needs that exist within the industry in South Africa? The paper is positioned within the context of the interior design profession in South Africa that has undergone drastic change over the past 10 years. This context is briefly explained and contributes to the main theme of searching and constructing identify within a profession that is in a state of flux

Topics: Interior design - South Africa, Interior designers - South Africa
Publisher: IDEA Unversity of Curtin
Year: 2012
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