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Dirty Furniture

When design leaves the showroom

Issue 4/6 – Closet

In the fourth issue of Dirty Furniture, we venture into secret worlds.

Summer 2018
£11 + postage

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including Seed the World, Make it Modular and This Box Will Set You Free.


The Closet Metaphor

The closet has long been a cypher for our sexual skeletons. Critic Jeremy Atherton Lin tracks the design of the closet to ask whether the architecture of emergence is still relevant.  Read article


Dimensions Unknown

What makes the wardrobe the perfect portal to other times and places? Fantasy novelist Adam Roberts enters the dark interior of this most mysterious piece of furniture to find out.


Everything is Moving

Present-day logistics have changed the very nature of storage. Architect Clare Lyster pauses to consider the implications of things being constantly in flow.


A Storage Hunter

‘If you get into the world of unclaimed items, you’ll get a deeper snapshot of someone’s life than you can ever imagine.’

Visual Essay

The Working Wardrobe

Fast fashion has its roots in the late nineteenth century, when Paris’s haute couture houses began designing collections to be replenished biannually. Fashion writer Laura Gardner salutes the designers who  have attempted to thwart this cycle in favour of function.  


Don’t Think. Discard!

Today’s tidying evangelists would have us believe that throwing things out will make us happier, better people. Design critic Alice Twemlow sifts through the latest mantras for overcoming clutter.


Bar None

The prison-industrial complex has turned human incarceration into big business. Curator Nadine Botha asks if closeting people away behind bricks and mortar is still the best way to deal with perpetrators of crime.

Time Capsules

Collective Closets

Time capsules materialise one generation’s desire to store the era’s paraphernalia for the next. Author Brian Dillon wonders whether it’s possible to encapsulate the present for the future.


An Archivist

‘Paper lasts; it transcends human lifetimes. Digital doesn’t; digital is fragile.’


Matter of Fact

In today’s era of fake news and digital media, are objects our most reliable storytellers? Dirty Furniture asked designers from across the globe what they would store in a time capsule for 2018.

Video Games

World of Wardrobecraft

Avatars were supposed to offer video gamers limitless self-expression. Writer Rob Gallagher dresses up to find out if, in the digital world, there are new rules of the game.



From broken car aerials to blocked drains, wire coat hangers can be turned to almost any problem. Literary academic Steven Connor pries them apart.


A Textile Sorter

‘People in Africa know their brands but it doesn’t attract a massive premium to have a Calvin Klein t-shirt…’


Busy Doing Nothing

It’s been five years since the trend for wearing gym gear during the day became widespread. Freelance writer Philippa Snow dons her tracksuit pants to consider why athleisure has become a wardrobe staple.  Read article