Sunday, February 25, 2007

Emergence of Modernism

"In art, architecture, and design it became increasingly evident that the traditions that had served past ages were no longer relevant to this modern world."(Pile, 323) Some of those traditions which architects were doing away with included the revivialism found in the Eclectic Movement. After the eclectic movement ran its course, it was a relief to find a new frontier of design through Modernism. The four people who were the forerunners of this movement included Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Walter Gropius. All these designers stirved for originality through geometric forms straying away from the excessive decoration of previous styles such as the Victorian Era.(104) In particular, Frank Lloyd Wright is credited for the earliest successes of this movement through creating the Prarie-style house form. In this style, the long horizontal line creates emphasis accented by short verticals while the interior plan was very open. FLW had many commonalites among his designs including of square skylights, hanging light fixtures, and stained-glass windows of geometric form, commonalites which would surface later in European art and design a few years later. (Pile, 325) In fact, Wright himself expressed that he was the only inventor of modernism insisting others were just imitators.(Pile, 326) Also, Wright's was the first in the modernist movement to have a house plan which was so open and centered around the chimney, and yet the Farnsworth House by Mis van der Rohe was completely open and situated around a central island. The book even makes other allusions to the fact that this imitation may be true when it compares FLW's Gale House to Robert van't Hoff's Dutch huis ter Heide in Utrecht. So my question: Was Frank Lloyd Wright the only inventor of modernism and the other European designers just imitators? Or did the other prominent designers such as Mies and Le Corbusier have original ideas despite their knowledge of FLW's designs published in De Stijl?(Pile, 327)
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1 comment:

Audrey said...

Frank LLoyd is a designer of much contraversy. While his designs were revolutionary he was definatly not the father of modern design. Perhaps the fame got to his head. Wright also claimed no influence from asian architecture but its obvious ,when looking at his designs, that there is just no truth in his dillusions.
Wright suffered from a bit of an ego and a disconnect between his eyes and his conscience.
Its hard to know edsactly where our inspiration is comming from some times. Everything we see has an effect on how we design. Perhps its best that we are like wright. Plagerisim should happen subconciously or by quwencadence alone never with intent.

This blog is intended for the interior design students in the college of design at the University of Kentucky. It was created with the intent to present students with information, providing them with a channel for contemplation and discussion.