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.


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?

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.