Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Art Deco was a popular design style that started in the 1920s, and strongly carried on until the early 1940s. Art Deco was a mostly decorative style that was applied to a wide range of architecture and interior design, as well as visual and graphic arts. This style was seen as a form of modernism because it preserved principles of elegance and simplicity, while maintaining functionality.
Many French Artists including Hector Guimard and Emile Decour, who controlled the foundation of the style, first introduced art deco to the world. In 1925, these French artists organized the International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts, which showcased the new art deco style.
During the 20s and 30s modern technology such as radio, air travel, and electricity highly influenced the development of the art deco style. The chevron pattern, zigzag pattern, and sunburst theme were common graphic depictions of such technology. Materials such as stainless steel, inlaid wood, and black lacquer accompanied these bold geometric motifs. This style immediately followed the end of World War 1 (1914- 1918), and preceded the Great Depression. Highly decorative forms were somewhat lavish during the Art Deco style as a counteraction to the depression of war.
Art deco style is primarily seen in Miami?s Art Deco Historical District. During the 1920s, John Collins and Carl Fisher transformed South Beach Miami during the boom of Art Deco style, yielding the South Beach we know today. My recent trip to South Beach revealed the dominance of bright pastel color themes in the Art Deco architecture. This style is almost excessive in South Beach because it consumes every building in sight; however, it fits in extremely well in such a tropical location. Would such a style fit in so agreeably at another location? Art deco style is seen in other cities around the United States, but imagine if another city (such as NYC) was strictly dominated by Art Deco Style. The style was booming during the 20s and 30s, but is it a style that can carry on universally through time? Was Art Deco just a decorative phase, or can it be recognized as a significant movement that can successfully be applied in any environment?
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.