Herbarium of Interiors – 2020 Edition

Geneva, Fall 2020

Herbarium of Interiors is a special collaboration between India Mahdavi and MAIA for Milan’s 2021 Salone del Mobile.

Few formats define more accurately the relationship between presence and obliteration than the Herbarium. Deprived of life, the Herbarium presents specimens that acquire a new condition in their timelessness. These are species that simultaneously exist in the realm of representation, the content and result of depiction. Objects that become their own image. Are contemporary interiors like herbariums, spaces whose image oscillates between content and representation?

Interior designer India Mahdavi keeps a graphic library of all the photographs she has taken throughout her life. They are printed, indexed and accumulated as a massive encyclopedia at her office at Rue Las Cases, Paris. Her thinking of space is informed by visual culture, halfway between places she has been to and places she will never be to, as she proudly claims when referring to her young habit as a teenager of watching three films a day.

In a unique collaboration, HEAD – Genève revisits with her a collection of timeless interior spaces that marked their time but have mainly remained through representation, as images. These are places like Verner Panton’s Varna Restaurant, David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, or Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks. This is revealing in a world such as the contemporary, where contact with interior spaces is less produced through direct experience, having been progressively replaced by a mediated experience. Ultimately, which media construct the relationship between interiors and their perception, between physical reality and the thought we articulate of it?


Chief Curator: India Mahdavi
Studio Critic: Youri Kravtchenko
Teaching Assistant: Manon Portera


Audouin Elsa
Bentivegna Sarah
Delerce Robin
Djavanrouh Azadeh
Ezerskaia Marina
Krauer Thibault
Missidenti Nourbonou
Pawlik Patrycja
Plassard Louise
Sallaku Patris
Yokota Nobuyoshi

Head of Department: Javier F. Contreras
Scientific Deputy : Valentina De Luigi

Studio – Herbarium of interiors
© HEAD – Genève, Raphaelle Mueller