Sondos Rawas Masters of design in interior design, The Glasgow School of Art.

Job Title:

PhD Research Student


School of Design



"Mashrabia", a traditional Saudi woodwork used over window openings to filter the air from dust and for the privacy of residence of the house
Nsief House, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

"Mashrabia", a traditional Saudi woodwork used over window openings to filter the air from dust and for the privacy of residence of the house


Sondos Rawas

Designing and understanding Interior spaces from a material culture perspective.

Supervisor: Patrick Macklin

Subject to patterns of urbanization and modernising process, have some societies become decoupled from the cultural and social authentic drive? This over generalized and weakened by using classic modernist trope, post-modernist, parametric design, critical design, where functionality is not a primary driver. For example, Starck's Kettle that burned your hand, Grave's misaligned window grids, Hadid's Virta fire station. However, function is not sufficient to explain how a space can communicate an information about a social or a cultural phenomenon. In this situation, there is a strong need to go beyond the basic function and structure of a space and have a fresh look into the cultural manifestation as a system of constructing spaces.

Through my research, I explore the application of a material culture perspective onto the design of spaces and the construction of narrative within spaces. Here, through the observation and analysis of different spaces such as domestic spaces from various regions, it is intended, that through the understanding of the cultural phenomenon of each element in space can led to a more comprehension of its ability to communicate overuse of the world space.

This practice-based research arises out of my personal motivations as a practicing interior designer. Specifically, I believe that a material culture perspective can contribute to the understanding of the cultural significance and the social structure of the design of a space. Furthermore, through my work I will pose several questions about the role of academic research in the practice of interior design, the conceptual development, the space planning, and the execution of the design.

In a publication that was targeted at highlighting more clarity to the role of space in material culture,(Yates1996, 127) explained that the utilization of space varies amongst cultures, but that the fundamental aspect is how in all cultures, it defines preferences. These preferences influence the kinds of objects that are chosen to occupy the space, the positioning of such objects, and how the space that is left for human occupation is used (Anderson & Rosser-Owen 2007, 53).(Pearson and Richards 2003, 95) highlighted the modern contexts in which, depending on the culture, the use of dining rooms vary. He proceeded to highlight that some cultures have even scrapped the dining rooms and dine in their kitchens. These, as (Buchili 2004, 62) supported, not only indicate cultural variations, but also support the projection that the use of space varies from culture to culture.