‘Healthy Furniture': Interior Design and Hygiene in Victorian Britain

Hand sanitizer, social distancing, face masks, and plexiglass dividers are today’s responses to a global health crisis. Victorian Britain was also confronted with pandemics. In response, large public projects, such as the construction of London’s underground sewer network, addressed civic hygiene.
Less known is the extent to which sanitary reform influenced interior design during the 1870s and 1880s. Architect R.W. Edis, for example, published a pamphlet ‘Healthy Furniture and Decoration’ while designer E.W. Godwin prioritized ‘light, air, and cleanliness’ in the domestic realm.
Celebrated for his famous clients, including James McNeill Whistler and Oscar Wilde, Godwin fashioned spare and calm interiors as healthful alternatives to dust-infested Victorian clutter.
In this talk, architect and architectural historian, Richard W. Hayes explores how some of the most elegant interiors of the Aesthetic Movement reflected up-to-date thinking on hygiene and well-being.
This 1 hour webinar will cover
Understanding how E.W. Godwin’s designs for furniture and interiors reflected progressive thinking on health, hygiene, and well-being.
Interior designers, architects, design historians, students of 19th-century furniture and interiors.
Richard W. Hayes is an architect and architectural historian educated at Columbia and Yale. He has published extensively on the Aesthetic Movement, including a chapter in E.W. Godwin: Aesthetic Movement Architect and Designer, edited by Susan Weber Soros (Yale University Press, 1999). The book received numerous awards and was selected as one of the most notable books of the year by the New York Times. Since then, Hayes has published six additional articles on Godwin in peer-reviewed volumes. A Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge in 2009 and 2013, Hayes is now a life member of Clare Hall.
Additional Information
Once you have registered for this event and your ticket type has been verified, you will be emailed the Zoom meeting link. If this event is fully booked, please join the waiting list. If you are no longer able to attend, please inform the office so that we can give your spot to someone else. Registered attendees to this event will receive the recording of the session which will be available to view for 1 week after the event.
The advertised price does not include VAT.
Attendance to this event equals 1 hour of Structured CPD
If you have any queries, please email the office at info@biid.org.uk or call 020 7628 0255.
By booking a ticket to this event you are agreeing to the BIID event terms and conditions

£6 – £9.60
British Institute of Interior Design

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