Robert S. Lorimer - interiors and furniture design
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Chapter 1, entitled "The Scottish Tradition", builds on the early twentieth-century consensus that Lorimer had resuscitated a moribund Scottish tradition of design. While critics have examined the Scottish roots of Lorimer's architecture, the native sources of his furniture design have received little corresponding attention. This section aims to demonstrate the ways in which Lorimer's interest in historical Scottish architecture and woodwork informed his interior and furniture design. In particular, his use of vernacular and regional forms is juxtaposed with the revival of traditional types and motifs he shared with contemporary designers. Complementing a concern with indigenous design is Lorimer's interest in continental antique furniture. Lorimer's personal collection, and those of his clients, may be identified as formative in the development of his design. Chapter 2 examines the main sources, against the social background of Scottish furniture and interior design during the period. The circumstances of the commissions discussed here reveal Lorimer's combination of the roles of architect and interior designer, the focus of Chapter 3 on Lorimer's wide-ranging activities at Balmanno Castle, Perthshire. Chapter 4 seeks to redress the balance between Lorimer as traditionalist and agent for reform, particularly in the area of design education. It will be argued that his own design innovations were secondary to the latter achievement. His attitudes to industrial design and handcraft are considered here, which leads to the final chapter on workmanship. This section is comprised of an in-depth study of Lorimer's working relationship with the executants of his designs; the variant use of handwork and machinework is discussed, and finally some attempt is made to discern and acknowledge the peculiar contributions of designer and workmen.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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