Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Art Deco

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?


G.Fickle said...

I believe that the art deco style is (was) a fad. I can’t imagine it being popular in established/historic cities such as New York. I do believe that it fits into the Miami lifestyle along with other coastal/beech type areas. I think that the design elements and graphic details of the style will continue to be used and inspire new and upcoming trends.

Brad said...

I feel that the use of the Art Deco style is very limited to areas such as Miami Beach Florida. It is not a style that you would see taking off big in Minnesota or for that matter Mexico. Art Deco is a style that is very bold and recognizable one that can be spotted out miles away because of the bold striking colors and the geometric mixtures. It is truly unlike many styles in the respect that people are not replicating art deco homes all over Lexington as they do the more traditional colonial style. Though like all styles it is influential upon future designers and styles.

emily said...

I dont believe that the art deco was a fad because you can still see the style being repolicated today. For example, the diner was developed during this time which is seen in all cities as a favorable "back-in-time" experience. Similairly, streamline shapes acn still be seen in modern design as a futuristic idea. However, i do agree with the others when they say it is not as popular as it used to be.

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