Pattern Research Project
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The Emblems of Colonialism project is a part of the broader Pattern Research Projects created by design history and design studio faculty members, Emily Smith and Dr. Sara Reed. Students in VCU Interior Design were asked to examine a pattern or motif used on a decorative object or surface during the colonial era in the Americas. During the 15th through 18th centuries, a period of colonialism forced new relationships between European countries and places in what is now known as North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. This project explores how colonial era patterns reveal power structures, othering, and the migration of design ideas.
Emily Adams, VCU Interior Design MFA 2022, selected the Lift-Top Chest piece for the 2020 Emblems of Colonialism Pattern Research Project. The text below is excerpted from the student's work.
"Colonial chests originate from early 17th century chests from England. Chests were the most popular and most important type of furniture in the household. Chests often only item brought settlers to the new world. Many settlers would try to recreate home life as if they were in England. Immigrant craftsman implement similar use of patter, style and motifs from homeland."
White Oak, Red Oak
Pattern's Place of Origin
Pattern Design Era
VCUarts, Dept. of Interior Design
Date of Submission
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