Monday, March 5, 2007

The emergence of Modernism

Modernism in design in many ways has been noticed and appreciated more after its time than anything. Classical elements that we see often come back to what people like Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, and the famous Mr. Frank Lloyd Wright were all about. The element that sticks out to me most about classical design and modernism is line. Columns, pillars, strong lines on the façade, and many others were done primarily for the function of structure and secondly for the aesthetics. In the modernism movement we see some walls no longer solely dependent for supporting the roof. The structural technology of this time period with elements like reinforced concrete and steel made it possible for many more options as far as wall placement and floor plan. The abstraction of spatial elements made it possible for the simplicity of something to become the beauty of it. This abstraction was taking the place of what used to be beauty with ornamentation (Pile 333) To understand this concept a little more fully think of the Victorian period. Interiors often were full of clutter, mindless objects, extravagant décor, over the top ideas everywhere… Modernism is much simpler.

So is less really more? Mies van der Rohe a very well distinguished designer of the modernist movement lived by this philosophy. When looking at the architecture of modern movement its important to take notice of simplistic elements that became the essence of the design. Terms like minimalism were used to express the intense detailing given to the construction. The idea that the real beauty of an object lies within the construction of it is a similar concept to what the true believers in arts and crafts pushed. As far as modernism goes, I believe hands down that line is the most prominent and important element we see. If you agree, name at least one other movement or style that line is used so purposely for the aesthetic aspects of design. If you do not think that line is the core of this design I have another question for you. Is less really more in design, why or why not?

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.