20 Century Design

Published: 2021-07-28 20:55:06
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Twentieth Century Design Studio Learning Task 2 STEP 1 Question A: George Marcus expressed that there is no one proper meaning of design, instead articulating that it implies to all objects surrounding us; “the clothes we wear, the products we use, the vehicles we ride in, the media that communicate with us graphically” (Marcus, 2002, P. 7). Influenced heavily by shifts in design movements, and individuals own interpretations, the meaning of ‘design’ has continually changed and it has become almost impossible to pin point one ‘true’ meaning.
Question B: The Good Design movement, as Marcus explains is a mid-twentieth-century populist movement that “attempted to bring products with an economical, no-nonsense, modernist aesthetic to ordinary households” (Marcus, 2002, P. 8). Good Design’s focus on ‘a simple, utilitarian approach to the creation of everyday products’ today however Marcus perceives to be a problem as ‘today the lines are not so distinct and we have to choice but to consider all stylistic possibilities’ (Marcus, 2002). Step 4 Image 1: Image 2:
Edwardian Interior: Pre modern (c. 1901-1910) Bauhaus Interior: Modernist (1920s/30s). Specimen apartment in the Swiss Werkbind’s Neubuh Housing Estate Zurich, c. 1934. Furniture by Marcel Breuer. Photo Hans FInsler. Image source: http://www. selectism. com/news/wpcontent/uploads/2009/06/marcel-breuer-risdfront. jpg Modernist design Modernist design is a part of a large progression of modernism, describing the 20th Century design movement involving many different groups and countries towards the end of the 19th century.
It is practised as a set of theoretical and ideological principles and practices that include: design must evoke the spirit of the times, design should fulfil the practical needs of modern life, form follows function, form follows production, anti-historicism, modern industrial materials, modern machine technologies, “less is more”, elementary (simple) geometric form and the grid, pure form and primary colours, truth to materials, and universality.
Modernists incorporate these principles along with modern thinking with the aims to push boundaries of design both culturally and creatively, and with the aim to developed new norms and mores that were more suited to a world that had experienced great change since the Industrial Revolution. Page | 1 HDC001- 20th Century Design Maddison Christoffesen – 9983767
The second image, a photo of a Bauhaus interior taken 1920s/30s clearly adheres too many of the modernist principles including; modern design should fulfil the practical needs of modern life, modern design should take advantage of new materials and techniques and develop familiar ones, and also modern design should master the machine for the service of man. The simple, streamline interior undoubtedly expresses each individual objects purpose and function instantly.
A perfect example of this is the chairs at the desk pictured in the shoot. The industrial influenced clean curved lines of the steal legs and wood backings fixed together using as little components possible to avoid any unnecessarily needed elements, represents simplicity and allows viewers to identify the need of the product immediately while also effectively depicting modernist design at its simplest form.
Not only does the chair represent effectively the simplistic nature of modernist design but the women standing relaxed and calmly, effortlessly against the door frame communicates the ease of this design form nature. The first image on the other hand, the picture of an Edwardian interior taken in the pre-modern era (c. 1901-1910) is a strong contrast to that of the Bauhaus interior. Although demonstrating as well certain odernist principles such as; modern design should fulfil the practical needs of modern life, and modern design should express the spirit of our times, the highly decorative styles focus towards the ornamental nature of each individual object draws great influence from pre-existing design forms shifting away from the modernists thinking aesthetic. Intricate detailed frames, ceiling architraves and the carved wooden desk serve to represent ones style such as, a women displaying the wealth of her husband’s success or her flamboyancy rather than focusing on the simplicity of modernist design.
Heavily contrast to the opened aired efficiency of the Bauhaus interior, the elaborate Edwardian interior unsuccessfully adheres to modernist designs focus on the fundament purpose of objects, rather focuses on extraneous enrichments of finer details which are not required in the function of products, but which are merely decoration. References: George H. Marcus (2002). ‘Introduction: What is Design Today? ’ Page | 2

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