Monday, March 19, 2007

Art Deco

The Art Deco style was characterized by sharp, almost harsh angles and cubistic forms, similar to the Modern Movement. The main difference between the two was that Art Deco was a fashion and more decorative statement, rather than the function statement the Modern Movement made. Also, the Art Deco style was developed and expected to take its place in the order of design eras, like a slow development instead of a completely new one.

The Art Deco style utilized aluminum and other polished metals, black lacquer, glass, and mirrors in the interiors. The furniture of the style mimicked the skyscrapers outside and was made of rich materials like macassar ebony, zebrawood with ivory, tortoiseshell, and leather inlays. All of these were employed for the purpose of making it luxurious, modern, and sleek.


The Art Deco style was expensive for the common person at the time, yet the general public became familiar with it through restaurants, hotels, and new ocean liners, like the Normandie. Although only the wealthy could have Art Deco in their homes, the middle and lower class

in France, the United States, Britain, and Scandinavia got to appreciate it through public settings.

One of the more prominent features of the Art Deco style is the influence that new technology had on the development of the style and the colors it incorporated. Blue was prominent in the style, because its affiliation with electricity, which was growing more widespread throughout this period. Black and chrome were widespread in this era, because they suggested new developments and cutting edge technology. Also, the radio, electricity, and jazz music played a part in how line and shape was used. The zig-zag shapes of the Art Deco style suggest a relationship between all three, like the rhythm of jazz, the sound waves of the radio, and the current of electricity. Furniture containted stepped forms, mimicking the wave of new skyscrapers at the time. The developments occurring outside of the design world still incorporated themselves into new designs. Is this always the case? If so, what other styles has this occurred in?

8 comments:

RCRecker said...

Art deco gave way to a new style of design with the use of metals. A good example of Art deco is the Chrysler Building in New York which a lot of us will see later in the week. The vertical line along with geometric shapes is a good example of a classic Art deco building. A few other things that come to mind is lighting and how with the art deco style electricity gave designers more to work with and created neon lighting for store, restaurants, bars etc. vertical horizontal and diagonal lines as Kinsey show rhythm and repetition such as the music of that time. Diners are also another type of style that came from art deco. With the curved ceilings and the use of metals giving it a clean and classic look to a new type of place, such as a diner. Not only did the new design influence architecture but also influenced furniture, jewelry, clothing and some of graphic design

Mary Margaret said...

I feel like a lot of design is done by inspiration of something else like the rhythm of jazz or the line of sound waves. This is not always the case but in school for design it seems that having inspiration for your design is key. We break down something like the sound waves to help further the elements of the design. It takes the design to another level because when you break it down their are things that you might see that were not so evident before.

The inventions of the style incorporated in the design did not seem to be as obvious. The industrial revolution inventions helped further design because it made things easier but the art deco style seemed different.It actually takes the invention and incorporates it in the design. It is more literal but similar to other styles also like the victorian era showing your wealth was shown by having more "clutter" and in the art deco style it is shown by the materials used. But the difference of the two the lower class can appreciate the design in art deco but in public areas. The victorian style the lower class could not apprecaite a part of the upper class. So I feel like there are similarities and differences to the art deco style and the previous styles.

Mallory said...

I agree with Mary Margaret. Obviously, good design has an exterior inspiration, and I think that is highly influenced by what is going on in society or by technological advances. I think that oftentimes the design is not necessarily mimicked (such as with the zig zag lines of Art Deco) but sort of trademarked- like with the Industrial Revolution's use of iron and steel and glass... as new materials became available, inspiration was derived from those materials. For example, the Eiffel Tower, as well as the Crystal Palaceee, were just celebrations of new materials. Therefore, I think there is truth in Kinsey's question!

kelsdietz said...

I agree with both Mary Margaret and Mallory, design is always inspired by outside influences. It's rare to have an original design that wasn't directed by a pervious idea. Weather it be music, science, nature, or anything for that matter. Design reflects what's happening in society always. Such as now with gobal warming, society realized there was a problem that need to be adressed. Part of the response was the idea of green design, and with came nature inspired themes. So my thought is yes design is always inspired but something other than design.

Megandrees said...

Design is influnced by other things. For example in the project we are working on now we need to have inspirational images. We take the things around us and they push our ideas and designs to the next level. Design isn't limited to the selected poeple that have degrees but could come from nature, music, ect.

brittney said...

Well...just as everyone before me has stated, pulling from outside influences can't be avoided in design. As designers, you're trained to always be looking and analyzing the world around you, and in doing so, something is going to spark and interest in you that you decide to further explore...it is just bound to happen and has happened throughout the history of design and will continue to do so...because, after all, that is what design is. It is being inspired by and attempting to manipulate an existing something to create something else that is all new...whether a social issue, a piece of art, a material or an existing space.

Jonathan Fox said...

i hate to sound like a broken record, but what everyone else is saying is absoltely right. design has always been and always will be influenced by the world around us and the events that are happening. popular culture, technology, materials and political climate are just some of the things that influence designers. truly original ideas are rare. our brain usually only works on things that we have learned or seen. those things work their way into what we do, wether it is intentional or not. good design should incorporate these things, this way the design stays relevant and the people who interact with the design will feel a connection to it.

brittanyg0321 said...

We all use the things around us as influences. Our current studio project is a good example. We are to find examples of inspirational images that are to direct our design. Design has been this way since the beginning of time. Even prehistoric cave paintings depicted what the people who painted them experienced on a daily basis. Images of hunting and the animals they were after inspired them to paint on the walls of their dwellings. We will always use the things we see and experience in our designs.

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.