Design in Context-design movements


Arts and Crafts

Arts and Crafts (1850-1900)

  • Simplicity- removing clutter and including suitably proportioned furniture. Furniture was 'humbly' constructed with minimal ornate decoration.
  • Splendour- small and highly ornate artefacts were produced using unusual materials and precious metals.
  • Nature- natural plant, birds and animal forms were a poweful source of inspiration. 
  • Colour and texture- colour was used to provide unity and focus. Architects and designers preferred natural materials. Rich materials, highly decorated surfaces and strong colour tended to be concentrated in small areas.

William Morris

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Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau (1890-1905)

  • Nature- interpreted natural forms into sinuous, elongated, curvy 'whiplash' lines and stylised flowers, leaves, etc.
  • The female form- frequent use of languid female figures in a pre-Raphaelite pose with long flowing hair.
  • Other cultures- Japanese art was a crucial inspiration, with asymmetrical outlines and the minimal grid structures providing vertical lines and height. Celtic, Arabian and ancient Greek patterns provided inspirationfor interwined ribbon patterns.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

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Modernism (1900-1930)/ The Bauhaus (1919-1933)

  • 'Form follows function'- produced high-end functional products with artistic pretensions which primarily worked well but also looked good. Simple, geometrically pure forms were adopted.
  • 'Products for a machine age'- used modern materials and mechanised mass production processes. Looked like they had been made by machines.
  • 'Everyday objects for everyday people'- consumer products should be functional, cheap, and easily mass produced so they could be affordable.

Marcel Breuer

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Art Deco

Art Deco (1925-1939)

  • Geometric forms- trapezoidal, zig-zagged, geometric fan motifs, etc.
  • Primitive arts- simplified sculptural forms of African, Egyptian and Aztec Mexican art and architecture influenced designers.
  • Machine age- celebrates machine age through explict use of man-made materials, symmetry and repetition.

Eileen Gray

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Streamlining (1935-1955)

  • Teardrop shape-sleek, efficient forms of airliners and marine life as inspiration, adopted as perfect areodynamicism.
  • Futuristic design- science fiction provided optimism for a new and better future with sleek rocket shapes and atom designs.

Raymond Loewy

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Post-modernism (1975-Present)

  • Humour and personality- bright and colourful, often including unnecessary decoration in attempt to give static objects personality.
  • 'Retro' design- inspiration from past movements and stylesand re-interpret them in a modern way. Or copying of old designs but manufactured using modern materials and technology.
  • Deconstruction- surface structure of a building is distorted so that it becomes non-rectangular. Controlled chaos.

Philippe Starck

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