Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Crossing the Threshold between Spatial Installation Art and Interior Architecture

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posted on 2023-03-13, 23:59 authored by Wiki, Caley

This thesis explores opportunities to challenge how the nature of spatial installation art might be conceived within the medium of habitable architecture. It explores how spatial installation can take a shift in spatial qualities from space that is occupied to space that is inhabited. It focuses specifically on precedents and opportunities for the use of architectural vocabulary along with materiality, context, ordering systems, and identities to engage the occupant with spatial experience that challenges the boundaries between art and interior architecture. The intent of this thesis is to investigate how such vocabularies can be applied to interior architecture in order to formulate architectural space that society actively interacts in and through. The macro approach embraces multi - functionality allowing freedom for the space to metamorphose when confronted with a new set of social demands by the inhabitant without the space actually needing to physically change.

The thesis investigates the threshold between the realms of conceptual spatial art and programmed habitable architectural space. It examines how an ‘installation’ can respond to multiple programmatic requirements and the requirements of habitation, as a means of redefining our presumptions of interior architecture. This thesis investigates the liminal boundaries defining a construction as a work of architecture versus a work of art by considering interior architecture as a vital transition between architecture and art. As a site for this investigation the thesis explores ‘interior architecture’ opportunities along a pedestrian pathway in Wellington, one which is spatially contained by urban buildings on either side. The selection of this site for an investigation of interior architecture immediately challenges traditional presumptive boundaries between interior architecture, architecture, landscape architecture and urban planning. Such a site provides a critical vehicle for investigating the nature of program and habitability within a constructed installation space that crosses the boundaries into architecture.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Interior Architecture

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Interior Architecture

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Brown, Daniel K.