They Remodeled Before Covid.
Here’s What They Regret Now.1
This New York Times article refers to experiences of wealthy dual-income earners in the wake of the pandemic, but it also considers increasing trends toward renovation and redecoration in the US in the past years. Against the backdrop of the Cold War, cocooning was coined in 1981 by trend expert Faith Popcorn to describe undercurrents in Western societies where “being worn-out, overstimulated and exhausted became a ‘thing’ – and tech enabled it”2. Nowadays, we can see continued trends of ‘cocooning’ related to the effects of the pandemic.
Although we will not focus on COVID-19 with our current semester focus on “Wohnen | Dwelling”, it has to be noted that the pandemic highlighted the spatial dimensions and interconnections of everyday life, of cultural and political spheres, and of global economics in unprecedented ways.
More and more, the “four walls” of people’s own homes – if they even have homes – are becoming projection surfaces for societal developments as well as literary and artistic production: fears of downward social mobility in light of exploding rent prices, increased interest in interiors during lockdown coinciding with proliferating tedium for parents and children plagued by home-schooling, the relationship between people and pets or between people and their surrounding materiality, the above cited cocooning boom, etc.
This blog series will feature articles reflecting on specific physical sites (“My corner”) as well as entries on specific themes: queer meanings of “home”, dwelling in contemporary literature, intercultural perspectives, and many more. In addition to the blog, the lecture series “Making a Home”, three “CineScience” events, seminars for students and other formats will focus on a variety of topics ranging from “Architecture and/as Hospitality” to Brutalism and the “Invention of the housewife”. A cultural studies perspective will underly all these events, which will take place in German or English. We welcome any contributions, comments, or suggestions.
- “They Remodeled Before Covid. Here’s What They Regret Now”, by Ronda Keysen, New York Times, Jan. 14 2022. Accessed 20/04/22.
- https://faithpopcorn.com/trendbank/cocooning/. Accessed 20/04/22.
SUGGESTED CITATION: Blog Editorial Team: Wohnen | Dwelling. Introducing a new blog series, in: KWI-BLOG, [https://blog.kulturwissenschaften.de/wohnen-dwelling/], 09.05.2022