Monday, October 15, 2007

"Modern Movement I"

The ideas of modernism began to spread when Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson organized “The International Style,” an architectural exhibition in 1932. Seventy-Five projects were presented and many of them shared the same characteristics that are mentioned in Pyle’s text: Flat roofs, smooth, white walls, large spans of glass, asymmetrical plans, and the absence of ornamental or historical detail. These projects were considered to be designed under the idea of function, rather than what is just aesthetically pleasing. Eleven of the projects were highly based on interiors, here noting a key principle of modernism – That the design of architecture be first based on the interior arrangement of a space, ultimately leading to the exterior's design. Hitchcock and Johnson describe the new modern style as abstract, cubistic, and representative of the “machine age.” In its simplicity, modernism also lead to further exploration in form through steel and concrete.
Because of the new approach to design, others viewed it as very progressive thinking. Putting the past behind and moving forward. Many countries, particular in Europe, were uncomfortable with these new ideas, limiting progressive thinkers, and opposing everything that was not eclectic or an imitation of history. Modernism was the belief that design should be for and used by everyone. Therefore, it developed in areas where democracy and social idealism flourished. With its evolution, do you see modernism as a result of politics, a style driven only by technology and engineering developments, or just a matter of taste? Maybe, perhaps, none of these apply to what you perceive. In what ways do you see the principle of modernism used today?

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.