Sunday, October 19, 2008

Modernism, part 1, A

 

            Variable elements stemming from the aftermath of World War I, such as economical, social, and political conditions, helped shape and develop the concept and practice of modernism, which was a reaction to the tension of the aforementioned war. This style encompassed industrialism by using new methods (cubism, futurism, dynamism) and materials (glass and metal) and the designer’s role that was more thoroughly coming into understanding. Even though it is thought to have emerged by French artists and designers, the beginnings of Art Moderne can be traced to years before the war, when French organizers wanted to have and international exhibition of modern decorative arts, planned in 1915 but eventually taking place in 1925 (The Paris Exposition of 1925).

            A veteran of World War I, Walter Gropius, became director of Bauhaus, an influential advocate of ambivalence towards mass production and industrialization. (Raizman, pg. 140) A new theme of Art and Technology was launched from this institution. Mass media and the printing industry flourished during this time. New typefaces were developed, such as the one being used to type this post, Times New Roman. World War I was very influential in the time as well by the use of the government enlisting help from artists and illustrators to produce mass media of posters and billboards. Thus, trying to recruit soldiers, create a sense of national solidarity, and so forth. Another service of this mass media was for advertisement, which was being more commonly seen.

dubonnet.htm.jpg

Contrasting recent previous styles, Modernism focused more on a machine-made environment (Raizman, pg 158) as a source of inspiration instead of the world of nature. Thus, creating new forms and techniques that would strive to liberate emotion and action by being dynamic. How was the reaction of current events evident in Modernism? And with that without those events, do you think design would have ever evolved into the industrialist ways it did? How has this style influence future designs and designs of our time?

7 comments:

Carrie.Marcum said...

I believe that Modernism was manifested through many other things that were happening at the time. Modernism was a new way of thinking! The Victorian, Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, and Eclecticism Style were all a return to the past in some from or another. Modernism was a new step in a direction that had never been taken before. It was influenced by music, literature, and art. I think that with these events it evolved into the industrialist ways. I think that even if these events didn’t happen it would of at some point evolved. Modernism has influence all styles up to today’s time. It’s always something new and different from the past.

Kayla.E said...

The reaction of current events was very evident in modernism, because there was such a drastic change from art nouveau to modernism. Before certain events everything was very curvilinear and 'carefree' to a certain extent. Design ideas were a personal express straight from the artist. During and after these events artists and designers started making a 'bold' statement with their work, something that was very strong and substantial and out there. Also with the meaning of artwork changing from not just about what the artist wanted but something that would relate to the 'pride' aspect of the city/country. Design might have evolved at some point to the industrialist that it did, but it would have taken a long time to get there and probably wouldn't have been that bold and prominent if these events hadn't occured. This style has influenced future designs and the designs of our time by showing people that its ok to make things very geometric and yet abstract at the same time.

carrie w said...

Modernism incorporated a completely new way of thinking. It was new and used all sorts of new ideas and concepts contrary to the previous eras that look to the past for inspiration. Without those events design would never have evolved to where it is today. Every single thing that has been designed in the past plays some role in the things that we are designing this very second. If you really sit down and analyze any project you can connect it to the past or the past works of some artist somewhere. I am not saying that all designs are almost exact replicas of something that someone has done before them. Just merely that there are definite connections in almost all works. That is why it is so difficult to design something new and innovative that no one has thought of yet!

maggie clines said...

Modernism was a reaction to all of the past styles that had been done before. The style itself was developed to create something new and unexpected. It was also heavily influenced by World War I; after which many people just wanted a new start. This made people go beyond just look to the past for inspiration and to actually create something new. I feel that the past is the past and every style and period plays a part in developing the next era. Though I do feel that without styles such as the eclecticism, and World War I, this style may have taken longer to develop, I do feel however that eventually it would have come around. People would have slowly begun to grow tired of the traditional ways and desire something more original. This style began to challenge all future styles, forcing them to think beyond what they knew from the past and truly create something new. I feel that this style continue to this day to challenge and force people to do something unexpected.

Carrie R. said...

I think that World War I and current events definitely got the ball rolling when it came to new and innovative design. Because of the affects of these events, people didn't really want to dwell on the past, and wanted to just move forward. From this, Modernism began a whole new way of thinking. I think that without these events, design would not exactly be where it is today. I think that it definitely would have taken alot longer to progress to where it is now, and there would be more influence still from the past. There are definite connections between design today and the Modernism style in the aspect of innovative design and never stopping at creating something that has already been done. Its about the challenge of taking that extra step forward and designing something completely original.

Sara Watson said...

The reaction of current events was very evident in modernism. The rejection of the past and embracing machine made goods were part of it. People just wanted a fresh slate after those events. While those events helped bring out modernism, without them they would have still happened. People would have eventually gotten around to creating new ideas that were grounded in the past. Modernism still plays a big part in design today. New materials and innovative thinking are associated with modernism. People will continue to push the limits of design.

gnjones15 said...

It was definately time for change when modernism came around. Everything at the time influenced this movement towards simplicity and the appreciation of the machine. The governmental propiganda from WW1 with the printing of posters ect., helped make the move to modernism. The past will always influence designers and architects but I think for some it was time to focus back on the idea of form follows function. Certain aspects of the modern movement are still around today. Even today when looking at the type of design that I find pleasing, I enjoy the simple elements and the minimal ornamentation that stems from the modernism movement.

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.