Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer


Vol. 1 No. 2 (2021)

Tracing London's urban living room

Article downloads


Responding to the rapid development of indoor public interiors motored by commercial activities, this paper argues that an alternative form that is more inclusive is needed to foster healthier and more socially equitable interactions in the city. It frames urban living room, a micro-scale outdoor interior development that aims to inject domestic experiences into the existing urban environment, as the antithesis of the exclusive indoor public interiors. Utilising tracing as a mode of inquiry to look at two case studies of the urban living room in London, UK, this paper aims to reveal the spatial mechanism that makes this public interior provide the much needed intimate experiences that make the city habitable. The finding of this study suggests that the interior mechanisms used by urban living room provide scalar confrontation and heighten sensual experience that fosters intimate social interactions and inclusivity for all urban dwellers.


  1. Attiwill, S., Giunta, E. E., Fassi, D., Crespi, L., & Hermina, B. (2015). Urban + interior. IDEA Journal, 15(1), 2–11.

  2. Farrelly, L., & Mitchell, B. (2011). Interior room urban room. In E. Hollis, A. Milligan, & D. Plunkett (Eds.), Interior tools interior tactics: Debates in interiors theory and practice (pp. 233–242). Libri Publishing.

  3. Gehl, J. (2010). Cities for people. Island Press.

  4. Giunta, E. E. (2009). Urban interiors. Artificial territories. Designing ‘spatial script’ for relational field. IDEA Journal, 9(1), 52–61.

  5. Harrow-Smith, T. (2021, March 24). Inside the South Bank Book Market. South Bank London.

  6. Hinkel, R. U. (Ed.). (2011). Urban interior: Informal explorations, interventions and occupations. Spurbuchverlag.

  7. Jacobs, J. (1992). The death and life of great American cities. Vintage Books.

  8. Koolhaas, R. (2002). Junkspace. October, 100, 175–190.

  9. Lucas, R. (2017). The discipline of tracing in architectural drawing. In C. M. Johannessen & T. van Leeuwen (Eds.), The materiality of writing: A trace making perspective (pp. 116–137). Routledge.

  10. Merwood-Salisbury, J., & Coxhead, V. (2018). Exterior interiors: The urban living room and beyond. In A. Campos & D. Schneiderman (Eds.), Interiors beyond architecture (pp. 139–152). Routledge.

  11. Pimlott, M. (2016). The public interior as idea and project. Jap Sam Books.

  12. The Granary Square Fountains. (n.d.). King’s Cross. Retrieved September 24, 2021, from

  13. Winton, A. G. (2013). Inhabited space: Critical theories and the domestic interior. In G. Brooker & L. Weinthal (Eds.), The handbook of interior architecture and design (pp. 40–49). Bloomsbury Academic.


Download data is not yet available.