Sunday, April 22, 2007

Contemporary Design III

Historically, almost every style can characterize a certain period of time. The Victorian Era carried us close to the 1900's with its innovative material use on exteriors, such as the Crystal Palace with iron and glass, and the amazing ability to fit large amounts of ornate and rich furniture into their homes. The Arts and Crafts is another example that characterizes the early 20th century. This style called for a return to handcrafting and simplicity with introducing more natural materials and innovative layouts.

Currently though, design is going in many different directions. There are deconstructivists such as Rem Koolhaas and Peter Eisenman, who love to push the envelope with new mater
ial uses and cutting edge technology use. The Prada retail store in New York (to the right) is an example of Koolhaas' innovative use of planes and materials.
On the other end you have a return to the classics, again, but with a twist on the earlier elements of this style. An extreme example is Greenburg's "perfected" and enlarged version of Washington's Mount Vernon. Some say that this structure could easily be mistaken to have come from a much earlier period.

So, my question is, with so many different styles happening at one time, will we ever be known to have come togehter to create the great style of our time?


kinseyjanzen said...

I believe that there never has been, never is, and never will be just one style going on at one time. I think that possibly soon all the different styles right now will begin to influence each other and start to morph and combine into a different style. Yet those styles before will still probably be subgrouped under this one style.

In the past, Gothic Revival, Victorian, Italianate, Second Empire, and Queen Anne all occurred in the late 19th Century. they are all distinct styles, all occurring at the same time, and each influenced later styles in a different way.

If every style converged into one "superstyle" the 21st century would be boring and uncreative. If this happens, designers everywhere would fail at their job, stiffling creativity and conforming to a model set forth for them instead of being original. I hope that this does not happen.

brittney said...

As Kinsey has alread mentioned, what makes design so great today is how eclectic it has become. We have more opportunity for creativity and stylistic freedom than ever before and this will only continue to grow. As we've moved from style to style throughout history, we have in a sense 'collected' or 'catalouged' them to look at and use in the future in both traditional and in innovative ways. So, while I can see how it would seem discouraging that our generation can't be pinned down to one style of design, isn't it better to be a part of the generation that is willing and able to try it all...old, new, and everything in between?

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.