ARC 605-2– Cabinets, Cabinets, Cabinets

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Course Details

Course No.: 10266

Department: Architecture

Semester: 2016 Fall

Location: Parker – 24

Meeting Day(s): Tuesday, Thursday

Meeting Time: 1:30PM - 7:20PM

Faculty: Maher

Of all the Arts which are either improved or ornamented by Architecture, that of CABINET-MAKING is not only the most useful and ornamental, but capable of receiving as great assistance from it as any whatever.”

The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director



Thomas Chippendale (1718–1779) was the most famous and skilled of England’s master cabinet-makers. In 1754, Chippendale published The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director, a pattern book consisting of designs for furniture in Chinese, Gothic, and Rococo styles. The book’s preface included a summary of columnar orders, architectural proportioning systems and rules of perspective, suggesting that lessons gleaned from buildings were directly transferable to the design of furniture and that specifications for architectural features such as moldings were relevant not only for buildings, but also for interior environments, bookcases and tables. Chippendale’s ideas drew heavily upon Gothic furniture which reflected and re-interpreted the tracery, vegetal patterns, and systems

of arches that were germane to architectural counterparts of the time period. This studio will explore resonances between the cabinet as a room, a furnishing and an architectural model.  We will trace the origins of the cabinet from the “studiolo” rooms of the 15th century, examining conceptual, scalar and tectonic relationships between such rooms, their surrounding enclosures and the artifacts contained within.