28 December 2009

Protecting Sexuality in Design

"a cauldron of sexuality behind apparently innocent surfaces"

(The Architecture of Fashion p.198)

Personally, when I read this quote, I automatically thought of the designs of many courtyards in the United Arab Emirates. The exterior facades or "innocent surfaces" hide and protect the beautifully decorated interior designs.

The arabesque designs and flowing tile work can be associated with the "cauldron of sexuality" that the quote suggests.

Similarly to architecture, the concept of the hijab can also be related to this quote. A "innocent surface" of basic cloth behind the "cauldron of sexuality" which, to me, is a beautiful description of women. Describing sexuality as powerful and beautiful thing that is protected by an "innocent surface".

I also want to note that I took this quote from the book, The Architecture of Fashion, and this book does not talk about fashion and architecture of the Middle East. It focuses more on design in the West. This is important to note because I want to emphasis the fact that our concepts of sexuality, and protecting it is not unique to any part of the world. It is a shared view, different cultures have evolved to express this in different ways.