Mr Andrew Taylor
School of Medicine and Public Health
- Phone:(02) 4016 4662
Professor Mark Taylor's primary research focus is the history and theory of the modern architectural interior with an emphasis on cultural and social issues.
Taylor's research encompasses a range of areas including the interior in literature and film, nineteenth-century decorative advice, and innovative approaches to housing for an ageing population.
Taylor has authored and edited over 100 publications comprising books, book chapters and papers. He recently edited, Interior Design and Architecture: Critical and Primary Sources (2013), a four-volume anthology that collates historical and contemporary essays and papers from Asia, Europe, Australia and North America that are considered important to understanding both the past and future directions of interior design.
This publication ranges from disciplinary origins in decoration and furnishing through to the design of digital interactive spaces and computer game environments. A range of historical, theoretical and methodological approaches expose the social formation and spatial arrangements of interiors as they change to reflect the intent of the designer. The work is ordered thematically and covers four key thematic frameworks of design awareness, sensory expectation, cinematic engagement and public interaction, that aim to broaden and legitimise the discipline's understanding of its knowledge base, and builds upon Taylor's earlier volume Intimus: Interior Design Theory Reader (2006)
Taylor's most recent book Designing the French Interior: The Modern Home and Mass Media, will be published in September 2015, This volume addresses the intertwined relationship between media, decoration and design, and focuses on the interiors of one country and one culture, France, because of its central importance to the study of the modern interior.
Taylor's 2014 paper 'Ageing in suburbia: Designing for demographic change in Australia and New Zealand', printed in the journal Architectural Design, concludes that there are currently relatively few innovative approaches to housing for older people. The paper is underpinned by a 2011 research study indicating that 94% of Australians aged 65 and over were living within the community in private dwellings. His proposal supports the need people have to continue to live independently well into old age in either an adapted home or within community-based shared housing and proposes that a range of homes should be specifically designed to support their independence for as long as possible. The benefit of this work is bring to public attention how proposals for independent living tend to focus on standards and regulatory provisions rather than engaging issues of age and disability in a creative manner that will support people's needs as they age.
In an interesting change of focus, Taylor's chapter in the book Domestic Interiors: Representing Homes from the Victorians to the Moderns (edited by Georgina Downey) discusses the 'morbid secrets and threatening discoveries' that houses may hide, where typical images of the home as a refuge and a nurturing environment are turned on their head by a very different role as a murder site and a place to conceal bodies. He examines the domestic interior in terms of its spatial arrangement of locked areas, hidden rooms and secret passages that can induce a state of fear, but which also reflect the lair of the protagonist's mind.
Taylor's research in the domestic interior is often coupled with an analysis of literature from different eras. He proposes that works of fiction can illustrate the relationship between literature and architecture, where characters create and shape their dwellings while domestic spaces in turn can shape the inhabitants. Taylor explains that, "Many designers are drawn to literary narratives for both design inspiration and new interpretations of settings and environment, understanding that the novelists' space is an active contributor to the discourse of the interior".