CONF Sep 25, 2023

Interiors Reconfigured (Romont, 3-4 Nov 23)

Vitrocentre Romont (Switzerland), Nov 3–04, 2023
Registration deadline: Oct 30, 2023

PD Dr. Francine Giese, Vitrocentre und Vitromusée Romont

Interiors Reconfigured. Changing Materiality and Craftsmanship in the Decorative Arts of the Middle East and North Africa, 18th–20th Centuries.

Francine Giese, Sarah Keller, Vitrocentre Romont; Mercedes Volait, CNRS/InVisu.

Keynote Speaker:
Ralph Bodenstein, German Archaeological Institute Cairo.

The international conference is dedicated to the decorative arts of the Middle East and North Africa with a special focus on material aspects and local practices. In the course of profound changes since the 18th century, local tastes and craftmanship began to mutate under Ottoman and Western influence. The conference will address these changes and emphasise the growing importance of material-based analysis in the field of Middle Eastern and Maghrebi décors.


3 November 2023
Hôtel de Ville de Romont, Rue du Château 112

09.30 Opening Remarks
Francine Giese, Vitrocentre Romont; Mercedes Volait, CNRS/InVisu

Chair: Mercedes Volait, CNRS/InVisu

09.45 The Manifold Dynamics of Domestic Space and Architectural Fashion: Glimpses from Beirut, Sidon, and Cairo between the 18th and 20th Century
Ralph Bodenstein, German Archaeological Institute Cairo

10.45 Coffee Break

Chair: Francine Giese, Vitrocentre Romont

11.15 Cairene Interiors as Dynamic Spaces: the Successive Refurbishments of Manzil al-Sadat in the 19th Century
Mercedes Volait, CNRS/InVisu

11.45 Réorientaliser l’architecture « mauresque ». Intérieurs algériens recomposés aux XIXe et XXe siècles
Claudine Piaton, CNRS/InVisu

12.15 Ramsès Wissa Wassef et la rénovation de la kamariya
Leïla el-Wakil, University of Geneva

13.00 Lunch at Vitromusée Romont

Chair: Doris Behrens-Abouseif, SOAS University of London

14.15 A Changing Preference for Textile in Ottoman Interiors, 1705–1755
Nazlı Songülen, Kadir Has University

14.45 Furnishing Fabrics: The Qalamkar Textiles in the Domestic Interiors of the Qajar, Iran
Fahimeh Ghorbani, University of Toronto

15.15 The Materiality of Stucco-Glass Windows in 19th-Century Egypt
Francine Giese, Sarah Keller, Sophie Wolf, Vitrocentre Romont

15.45 Technical Heritage of Making Stucco and Glass Lattice Works in Iran
Amir-Hossein Karimy, Afsaneh Sobhani, Art University of Isfahan

16.15 Coffee Break

Chair: Sarah Keller, Vitrocentre Romont

16.45 František Schmoranz in Budapest: Reconstructing the Interior of the Oriental Pavilion at the 1885 National Exhibition in Budapest
Péter T. Nagy, Qatar Museums, Doha; Ajla Bajramović, University of Vienna

17.15 The Railway Station of Bosanski Brod: a Historical and Visual Reconstruction of a Major Work of Orientalist Design in the Balkans
Maximilian Hartmuth, University of Vienna; Malka Dizdarević, Vienna University of Technology

17.45 3D Restitution of Saint-Maurice Residence in Cairo – 3D as a Tool to Monitor and Study Architectural Reuses
Vincent Baillet, Archeosciences Bordeaux

4 November 2023
Hôtel de Ville de Romont, Rue du Château 112

Chair: Nadia Radwan, University of Bern

09.00 The Reception of Glass Stucco Windows as Vernacular Element of «Turkish» Interior Decoration
Franziska Niemand, Vitrocentre Romont/University of Fribourg

9.30 The Bait Al-Naboodah in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. A 19th-Century Pearl Merchant’s House between Tradition and Globalisation
Martin Nixon, Zayed University, Dubai

10.00 Coffee Break

Chair: Ralph Bodenstein, German Archaeological Institute Cairo

10.30 Variations sur céramiques bleues. Concevoir l’intérieur oriental
Nadia Radwan, University of Bern

11.00 A Tale of Three Perspectives: Local Authenticity, Colonial Interference and Hybridity within the Construction Methods of at-Tastīr – Moroccan Geometric Arts
El Fasiki, Craft Draft

11.30 Back to the Future? The 1927 ‹Arab style› Interior of Hoda Shaarawy’s ‹House of the Egyptian Woman› as a Display of the Nation
Philipp Zobel, University of Regensburg

12.15 Lunch at Vitromusée Romont

13.00 La Maison Tarazi: a Family Run Furnishing Company from Beirut
Camille Tarazi, Maison Tarazi (Presentation of original documents at Vitromusée Romont)

14.00 End of conference

Participation free of charge, registration is required by 30 October 2023 at

Vitrocentre Romont
Centre suisse de recherche
sur le vitrail et les arts du verre
Rue du Château 108b, CP 225
CH-1680 Romont
+41 (0)26 652 18 34

CONF: Interiors Reconfigured (Romont, 3-4 Nov 23). In:, Sep 25, 2023 (accessed Apr 24, 2024), <>.