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Fredie Flore is an engineer-architect and Associate Professor in history of (interior) architecture at KU Leuven, Faculty of Architecture. She is a member of the research group Architecture Interiority Inhabitation (A2I). Her research focuses on the representational role of architecture, interiors and design in the post-war era. Cammie McAtee is an independent curator and architectural historian based in Montreal. For many years, she was a curator at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Her research focuses on post-war North American architecture and design.
By demonstrating how furniture can perform a politically active, as well as a functional and an aesthetic role in so many of our inside spaces, The Politics of Furniture takes design historical scholarship to a new level. Penny Sparke, Director, The Modern Interiors Research Centre, Kingston University, UK Cammie McAtee and Fredie Flore's edited book The Politics of Furniture: Identity, Diplomacy and Persuasion in Postwar Interiors provides an exemplary analysis of the silent communications made by furniture, furnishings and furnished environments, meticulously set within national and transnational contexts. This edited book is remarkably coherent and convincingly arranged into three parts addressing identity politics, commercial spaces and diplomatic furniture respectively. It contributes to a surge of new scholarship demonstrating the importance of the interior and its histories, in capturing the historical relevance of often ephemeral arrangements. The editors and authors have adopted and applied cutting edge ideas and approaches in the history of design, such as the role played by mediating discourses in the complex process of creating significance for designed goods, and the benefits of transnational design histories for the globalisation of design studies and design history. McAtee and Flore's contribution is not confined to the introduction and three chapters for which they were co-authors, as their editorial intelligence is seen throughout the book. The editors' shared interest in Knoll (Associates and International) becomes a repeated motif throughout the book, functioning as an introductory case study, and as representative of a negotiation of US soft power and the identity of other nation states which wanted to be seen as contemporary in the post-war period. Some of the examples discussed will be familiar to readers well versed in the canon of design, such as the co-option of modernist design into US marketisation of the `American' lifestyles, while others will be less well known, for instance the role of prisoner-made furniture in driving the modernisation of Japan. The Politics of Furniture is an important and relevant volume that will remain an influential reference for years to come. Grace Lees-Maffei, University of Hertfordshire, UK This innovative and exciting addition to the literature develops recent specialist research and new debates on the role of furniture in interiors. ...[and] is an exciting and valuable addition to architecture and design studies that raises the bar for future authors. Clive Edwards, Emeritus Professor of Design History School of Art English and Drama, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK. Journal of Design History The editors and authors of The Politics of Furniture have set the academic bar high, with a serious collection of essays that were planned, researched, written, and edited with equal parts imagination and rigor. Mark Hinchman, University of Nebraska, USA, College of Art Association publication