On PrivacyThe founding editor of Modern Farmer and Monocle reflects on the intense yearning for private spaces in our homes and workplaces.

On PrivacyThe founding editor of Modern Farmer and Monocle reflects on the intense yearning for private spaces in our homes and workplaces.

Issue 21

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Interiors

“An intense yearning for more personal space in homes and the workplace has emerged within the last five years”

Our homes are beset by conflicting demands. Interior spaces must provide a sense both of community and of personal well-being; they must be places where we can invite the world in, and where we can shut the world out. In other words, they must serve needs both public and private.

In his 1953 book, The House and the Art of Its Design, Robert Woods Kennedy points out that design has made fewer and fewer provisions for conventional privacy, citing the example of Le Corbusier’s bedroom, which contained a toilet, tub and bidet. Kennedy asks, “Where does too little privacy begin to have bad effects on the individual and the family’s self-esteem?… When the individual is not able to withdraw without undue manipulation of architectural gadgetry; without apology; and when, in emergency co...

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