Graeme Brooker is an interior designer with extensive experience in practice, education and research.
Graeme Brooker studied and practiced Interior design in London and Manchester, teaching Interior Architecture in Cardiff between 1997–2004. He then commenced the role of the head of Interior Design at Manchester Metropolitan University, and between 2004–2011 led the BA, MA and the Design Research Centre. In 2011 he was Principal Lecturer in Interior Architecture and Urbanism at Brighton University before, in 2013, becoming the head of the newly formed department of Fashion and Interiors at Middlesex University in London. He joined the RCA as Head of Programme in 2015.
Brooker has taught in various institutions in America, Europe and Asia, and was visiting professor in Antwerp (2010–13), and Milan (2014). Since 2010 he has keynoted and presented at over 30 international conferences, and has either externally examined or validated provision at over 25 institutions including Hong Kong, Moscow, and Chicago. He is a Principal Fellow of the HEA, and the author of numerous books on the histories, theories and processes of the interior.
Graeme has written extensively on the interior and in particular the philosophical and theoretical implications of reworking of existing spaces and buildings. This includes the subjects of waste and redundancy. Other work includes the exploration of the numerous narratives that underpin the history of the interior and the ambiguity of the subject field and the impact of this condition on the discipline through its research, education, practice and the agents undertaking it.
His research is focused on the histories, theories, practices and design of the interior, and in particular the reuse of existing buildings. Since the publication of his first book in 2005, Rereadings, he has sole-authored three books, co-edited three books, and co-authored eight books on these subjects. The latest of these is Brinkworth: So Good So Far (Lund-Humphreys 2019), Adaptation Strategies for Interior Architecture and Design (Bloomsbury 2016), and Key Interiors Since 1900 (Laurence King 2013). His current work is The Story of the Interior (Phaidon 2022).
He devised and is the series editor for ‘designing interiors’ (2016, Lund-Humphreys), and is a member of the Editorial boards of Design& (Maggioli EditoreMilan 2019-), Inner – The Interior Architecture magazine (Turin 2015-) Architecture – Media -Politics – Society Journal (New York 2012-2015), IDEA Journal (Australia/NZ, 2011-) Interiors: Design: Architecture: Culture (Bloomsbury, 2009 -) And between 2008–13 was a series editor for The Interior Architecture and Design series, Ashgate Publishing. In 2006 he founded Interior Educators, (IE) the national subject association for all interior programmes in the UK. He directed the association for over a decade, attaining charitable status, and representing over 50 UK programmes and over 4,000 students and academics. He became Emeritus chair of the organisation in 2019. In 2019 he co-founded European Interior Educators (EIE). Brooker has received numerous awards for his work including a DAIWA scholarship to study building reuse in Japan (2015) and was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship from the HEA in 2015.
2015 May: HEA National Teaching Fellowship
2014 September: ADRI Conference Funding, Middlesex University
2015 May: DAIWA Small awards fund. Travel to Japan
2015 March: UKTI/GREAT Brazil. Creative Campus Rio, Brazil
2011 September: Brighton Sabbatical award
Current and recent projects
Brooker is currently working on a book entitled ‘The Story of the Interior’. Taking Gombrich’s classic as its starting point, it charts the various ideas that constitute the formation of inside space. It will be released by Phaidon in 2022.
Adaptations: Interior Strategies
Book to be published in 2016 by Bloomsbury
The design of the interior is reliant upon the understanding of what is already present. Whether a drawing on a page or computer screen, or the enclosure of an existing building, interior architecture, design and decoration are the disciplines that are based upon the understanding of what already exists in order to then create something new.
Adaptations: Interior Strategies, outlines a number of different approaches utilised when designing the interior. The book proposes that there are a series of very particular processes that are based upon the responses to a space that is or has been outlined for new occupation. These processes are exemplified by a series of strategies, employed by the designer, in an attempt to filter and synthesise a mixture of information, ideas and resources, in order to form a new, clear and meaningful spatial design. These procedures require a specific sensibility; an awareness and responsiveness to existing contexts and a willingness to accept, edit and reform existing or about to exist space. This book will summarize the unique and innovative strategies that respond to what is already present to make something new.
Adaptations outlines a number of primary reuse strategies in order to act as a primer for the subject. It will introduce readers to recombinant cultures, methods and processes that will explore the importance of context in both its site specific and cultural meaning. It will examine a number of approaches that will show how the adaptation of the existing, and in particular old buildings, as opposed too new-build, can provide unique and unusual transformative solutions for the historic and contemporary built environment. It will use the images and drawings of a series of case studies of recent and contemporary projects in order to demonstrate each strategy. Each strategy will be contextualised with an introduction explaining exemplary or key developments in other creative and spatially related fields such as installation art, painting, sculpture and furniture design.
'The Dialectics of Appropriation'
Chapter in the Interior Architecture Theory Reader, to be published by Routledge, 2016
The diverse processes of appropriation inform the basis of the descriptions of the discipline of Interior Architecture. These are explanations that often ascribe the subject a slippery status (Hildebrandt 2004: Gigli 2007: Edwards 2011: Rogers 2012). At its most extreme this perception manifests itself in the derivative view that the subject lacks a historical, theoretical and regulatory foundation. In The Dialectics of Appropriation Brooker will explore the idea that this unfixed quality manifests itself in a number of ways: as an issue of semantics, and as an intrinsic and essential spatial ambiguity. Brooker will propose that rather than a negative condition, both of these issues are elemental to Interior Architecture: they are built-in to many aspects of the subject. This is because appropriation and reuse, processual-based approaches to formulating Interior Architecture, ultimately create a particular design language, one that is specific to the thinking about, and the making of architectured interior space.
In The Dialectics of Appropriation, Brooker suggests that the ambiguous nature of Interior Architecture, can be understood through the exploration of a series of dualities. These dualities, or The Dialectics of Appropriation, give Interior Architecture its unique verbal and visual language. They are ideas and processes that inform the subject’s distinctive cultures of research, practice and education. These dualities might be viewed as often at odds with each other, yet it is my suggestion that dialectical conflict, the dichotomy of one idea superseding another, and thus rendering it obsolete, is, in this context, itself a redundant notion. Instead, the Dialectics of Appropriation forms the basis of the composite construct of Interior Architecture. That is a set of processes that give the subject its resonance and its distinct attributes.
In essence, The Dialectics of Appropriation will set out to position two things. One is that the ‘slippery’ quality of the interior is of paramount importance. Far from being a negative condition, it is a feature of the subject. Secondly, is the notion that the emphasis of this spatial, disciplinary, professional ambiguity, manifests itself primarily as a composite construct: a history, a theory, a space that is built from, a number of differing ideas, objects, edifices and appropriated conditions.
Publications, exhibitions, other outcomes
Brinkworth: So Good So Far. (2019) Lund Humphreys.
Interior Futures (2019) (Co-Editors Dr. Harriet Harriss. Dr. Kevin Walker). Crucible Press.
Rereadings: Interior Architecture + The Principles of Remodeling buildings. Volume 2. (2018) (Co-Author Sally Stone). RIBA Enterprises. ISBN 9781859465813
Adaptations: Interior Architecture + Design Strategies (2016) Bloomsbury
Brooker, G. (2013) Key Interiors Since 1900, Laurence King Publishers
Brooker, G. & Weinthal, L. (2013) The Handbook of Interior Architecture + Design
(Co-Author Bloomsbury Publishers
Brooker,G. & Stone. S., (2012) From Organisation to Decoration: An Interiors Reader, Routledge/Taylor/Francis
Brooker,G. & Stone. S., (2010) What is Interior Design? Rotovision Publishers.
Brooker,G. & Stone. S., (2009) Elements and Objects – Occupying Space, AVA Publications
Brooker,G. Stone. S., & Coates, M., (2008) The Visual Dictionary Of Interior Architecture, AVA Publications
Brooker,G. & Stone. S., (2008) Context and Environment: Site and Ideas, AVA Publications
Brooker,G. & Stone. S., (2007) Form and Structure: The Organisation Of Interior Space, AVA Publications
(This title was short listed for the R.I.B.A. Interior Design book of the year).
Brooker,G. & Stone. S., (2004) Re-Readings-Interior Architecture and the Design Principles of Remodeling Existing Buildings, R.I.B.A. Enterprises
Brooker, G. (2016) Adaptations: Interior Architecture + Design Strategies, Bloomsbury
Publications: Book Chapters
Brooker, G. (2019) 'The Unified and Emergent Interior' in Interiors: The Greatest Rooms of this Century. William Norwich. Phaidon
Brooker, G. (2018) 'The Dialectics of Appropriation' in The Interior Architecture Theory Reader. Ed. Gregory Marinic. Routledge.
2018 (Re) Fit for (Re) PurposePublished in ‘Interiors Beyond Architecture’. Eds. Deborah Schneidermann & Amy Campos. Routledge. ISBN 978-1138124981
Brooker, G. (2013) ‘Wastespace’ in Cairns, G. (ed.), Reinventing Architecture and Interiors: A Socio-Political View of Building Adaptation, Libri Publishing
Brooker, G. (2013) ‘In-Habit: Occupation and Decoration’ in Meade, T. (ed), Occupation: Negotiations with Constructed Space, University of Brighton
Brooker, G. (2012) ‘Interior Educators, The Past, A Present and Some Futures’ in Rogers, P. (ed), Interiors Education, Futures, Libri Publishing
Brooker, G. (2012) ‘Shifting Spaces’ in Massey, A. & Avermaete, T. (eds), Hotel Lobbies: Anonymous Domesticity + Public Discretion, Routledge
Brooker, G. (2012) ‘Spolia’ in Hollis, E. et al (eds) Interior Tools Interior Tactics: Debates in Interiors Theory and Practice, Libri Publishing
Brooker, G. and Stone. S. (2007) ‘From Organisation to Decoration’ in Thinking Inside the Box: A Reader in Interiors for the 21st Century, Middlesex University Press
Brooker, G. (2016) ‘The Dialectics of Appropriation’ in Marinic, G. (ed) The Interior Architecture Theory Reader, Routledge
Publications: Journal Articles (Selected)
Brooker, G. (June, 2019) 'Rooms that Changed the World' Elle Decoration 30th Anniversary edition p119
Brooker, G. (Jan, 2019) 'The InteriorScape: Amalgams + Composites in ‘nteriorities Ed. Vlad Ionescu. Palgrave Macmillan. 3:17057 doi: 10.1057/palcomms.2017.57.
Brooker, G (June,2019) 'Notes On The New Assembled Enclosure' in Interiors/Design/Architecture/Culture. Ed. Lois Weinthal. Volume 8. Edition1/2. Bloomsbury.
Brooker, G (Dec, 2016) 'Interior Matter(s): Proximities: Inhabitations; Identities' in Journal of Interior Design. Volume 41, Issue 4.
Brooker, G (June, 2016) 'Impact + Agency: The Interior Condition' in Journal of Interior Architects. Tallinn, Estonia. Issue 2.
Brooker, G. (July, 2014) ‘The Body + Space: Kaarina Kaikkonen’s The Blue Route Textile’, The Journal of Cloth and Culture, Volume 12, Issue 2
Brooker, G. (2014 & 15) ‘Mood: Bored’, ‘The Embellished Surface’, ‘The Farrell Retort’, ‘Fundamentalism’, ‘Future Heritages: A Letter from Rio’. Five articles for the online design magazine Edge Condition
Brooker, G.,& Stone, S. (June, 2009) ‘Off the Peg: The Bespoke Interiors of Ben Kelly’ in Preston, J. (ed), Interior Atmospheres Architectural Design Magazine
Brooker, G., & Dr Northey, E. (May, 2009) ‘Framing Space: Agenda and Content in the Architectural Photograph’, The Journal of Architecture, Taylor and Francis/Routledge – VELUX/EAAE Prize for Writing in Architecture. (2nd Place award)
Brooker, G., (June, 2007) ‘Infected Interiors: Remodeling Contaminated Buildings’, Interior Design Educators Journal, (I.D.E.A.) Australia
Brooker, G., (June, 2006) ‘Spolia: (In)Appropriate Appropriations’ in Stone, S. & Dunn, Ni. (eds), Interventions, Artemide
2020 January. 'Radical Heritages', Salt Galata. Istanbul. Turkey
2019 November. 'Activations: Interior as Assemblage', Kent State University. Ohio. U.S.A.
2019 November. 'Radical Heritages', Hyde Lecture Series. University Nebraska-Lincoln. Nebraska. U.S.A.
2019 March. 'Activations: Interior as Assemblage. Paula G. Manship Lecture. Louisiana State University. Louisiana. U.S.A.
2019 February. 'Working with the Not New', 11th Atmosphere Conference. University of Manitoba, Winnipeg. Canada.
2018 September. 'On Strategy', 32nd History + Theory of Architecture Conference. University of Antwerp. Belgium.
2018 May. 'The Story of the Interior' The Dispositions of Inclosure Interior/Inferior Conference. BAU. Berlin. Germany
2018 March. 'Adaptations: Ecobuild', London Excel Centre. London
2017 June: 'Tabula Plena' Naked Space Conference. 4th International Interior Architecture Symposium SISU. Lucerne, Switzerland.
2016 March: 'Proximities: Inhabitations: Identities: Interior Matter(s)', Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon.
2016 March: 'The Interior Condition: Impact + Agency' Norwegian Interior Architecture Association Conference. Oslo, Norway.
2015 May, ‘The Interior Condition: Impact and Agency’, Tallin, Estonia
2014 February, ‘Ambiguous Spaces: Interior Terrains’, Parsons: The New School. New York. ‘Aftertaste’ seminar series
2012 April, ‘Wastespace’, Ravensbourne University, London, Interior Educators Conference ‘Past:Present:Future’
2010 September, ‘Walls are Talking - What is Interior Design?’, Walls are Talking Exhibition, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester
2007 November, ‘Spolia: (In)appropriate Appropriations’ ‘Gli Interni Nel Progetto Sull Esistente’, Venice School of Architecture annual conference. Published in Gli Interni Nel Progetto sull'esistente Volume 3
2007 February, ‘From Organisation to Decoration’ in ‘Thinking Inside the Box’, Interiors Forum Scotland (IFS), Lighthouse Glasgow
Visiting Lectures / Guest critic
2019 On Strategy Ryerson University. Toronto. Canada.
2019 Rereadings. Mount Royal University. Calgary. Canada
2018 PostArchitecture Interiors Without Architecture. Pratt Institute. New York.
2015 Waste, Reuse and the Interior. May Design Series. Excel Arena, London.
2013 Design Futures: The Grid - A Transdisciplinary Education Knowing (by) Designing. LUCA, Brussels
2014 Ambiguous Spaces: Interior Terrains. Pratt Institute. New York.
2014 Interiority: Site + Sense. CUNY. New York.
2014 Rereadings. Ryerson University, Toronto. Canada
2015 Interiority: Site + Sense. Leeds Beckett University
2014 The Dialectics of the Interior. (IN:Arch) Indonesia
2014 Key Interiors Since 1900. RCA: six lectures.
2014 The Dialectics of the interior. Athens lectures: Milan Polytechnic
2013 Rereadings. Griffith University College, Dublin.
2012 Guest critic. Interior Design. American Intercontinental University. (AIU)
2011 Interiors: A Model for Research. University of Ulster. Invited convener of Research Day.
2011 Guest critic. BA (Hons) interior Architecture. University of Creative Arts, Canterbury.
2010 What is Interior Design? Westminster University.
2010 What is Interior Design? In-side-Out lecture series. Leeds Metropolitan University.
2019- Co-founder European Interior Educators (EIE)
2006-2019 – Founder, director of interior educators. (Now Emeritus chair)
IE is the subject association group representing Interiors courses across the UK. It is a registered Charity with an annual turnover of £70,000, 53 member courses, and represents 4,000 higher education students. For more information visit www.interioreducators.co.uk.
2019 – Present: Design& (Maggioli Editore Milan)
2015 – Present: Inner – The Interior Architecture magazine. (Turin)
2012 – Present: Architecture – Media – Politics – Society Journal (New York)
2011 – Present: IDEA Journal. (Australia/NZ)
2009 – Present: Interiors: Design: Architecture: Culture. Bloomsbury.
2008 – 2013: Commissioning Editor. Interior Architecture and Design series, Ashgate Publishing.
2016 – present – British Higher School of Art and Design, Moscow
2012 – 2016 – Glasgow School of Art
2012 – Present BA (Hons) Interior Design, Glasgow School of Art (Chief Examiner); BA (Hons) Interior Design GSA in Singapore
2011–15 BA + MA Interior Design, Lincoln University
2011–14 BA (Hons) Interior Design, Leeds College of Art and Design
2009–11 Diploma Interior Design, Temasek University, Singapore
2007–10 BA (Hons) Interior Architecture, Brighton University. (Chief Examiner)
2007–11 MA Product and Space, Kingston University, London
2005–09 I.D.E.A. (Interior Design Environmental Architectures) Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication, London
2014: 'An Accessory Becomes Protagonist: The New Materiality of Sound In Spatial Design’, Lorenzo Beretta.,Birmingham City University, (Viva examiner)
2014: 'Living The Event: Temporary Housing Models for Large Events', Laura Galluzzo, Milan Polytechnic, Italy, (PHD Supervisor)
2014: 'Retail-Reuse: An Interior View on Adaptive Reuse of Buildings Bie Plevoets', University Hasselt, Belgium (Viva examiner)