Scandinavian Modern

6 Sep

Scandinavian Modern:

describes a specific architecture, interior, and furnishings from Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway in 20th century

adopting elements of  Bauhaus and International Style modernism


Scandinavian architects and designers are less concerned with design theory than practical and social humanitarian matters

centering on creating designs that are functional yet reflect humanity in planning, scale, and materials


purely modern expression often have no or minimal applied ornament or decoration

so there are few motifs- foliage and plants


architecture ranges from rugged stone composions with steeply pitched roofs and bay windows to plain brick facades composed of geometric forms and rectangular windows

various national and international styles


most interiors are simple and modest with minimal furnishings

function, lightness, natural light, and an appreciation for natural materials and textures are more important than applied decoration and/or just filling a space

interiors by architects have the most variety and show greater concern for pleasant sensory experiences through spatial changes, color, light, and texture


furniture ranges from totally handmade to completely mass-produced, with varying increments between the two

furniture design becomes a collaborative effort among designers, artisans, and manufactures

emulate Vienna Secession model of craftsmanship and individuality


Art Deco, Art Moderne

6 Sep

Art Deco, Art Moderne:

art deco is an international style with a diversity of expressions in all the design arts, including architecture, interior design, funiture, decorative arts, graphic design, book arts, fashion, and film


elements surfaced in France of Art Deco

with some elements of Art Nouveau like the minimalism and geometry of the Vienna Secession in AUstria and Charles Rennie Machintosh in Scotland, and more stylized and naturalistic expression in Paris

absorbs function and new materials


Natural Motifs- stylized flowers and garlands, banana leaves, stylized water fountains, feathers, doves


applies stylized and abstracted geometric, floral, figural decoration and brilliant color to classical and modernistic forms

come buildings have classical attributes

Expressionism, De Stijl, Le Corbusier, and Bauhaus influenced their work


French artistic designers not architects create Art Deco style

renewed importance of and emphasis upon decoration and supremacy of the designer’s creativity

interior design, designers, and decorators become more important

superb craftsmanship, expensive materials, and lavish decoration from many sources are definitive characteristics



repeats architectural and interior character in form and motif

Art Deco inspires High-style French furniture

elegance, individuality, excellent craftsmanship, and expensive materials

Art Moderne furniture is mass produced and sometimes created by a designer, has streamlined, geometric, or biomorphic forms, simple contours, no ornament

International Style

5 Sep

International Style:

broadly refers to a modern architectural style that appears in Europe (1920’s)

also found in the United States then soon the rest of the world (1930’s)

characteristics of the International Style in architecture are- geometric forms, regularity, volume instead of mass, smooth white or glass walls, minimal color, and no applied ornament

this style dominates commercial architecture, factories, and public housing

interiors along with furniture exhibit similar aesthetics

converging ideas of early 20th century architects in Germany, France, and Holland

reinforced concrete and steel

challenge traditional ways of designing and construction methods

look for ways to improve life through modern architecture

rejection of past and decorative ornament and adoption of functionalism, machine precision, standardization


emerges from theories, forms, technology, and construction methods developed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries by individuals, movements, and design schools

Bauhaus ideas and methods come together


no motifs because buildings are generally unadorned

some architects include unique architectural details part of the building structure


architects who emphasize function, flexibility, efficiency, and practicality, create interiors

form and proportion are more important than ornament and decoration

characteristics- geometric forms, asymmetry, free-flowing and open spaces and no ornament

volume is important so rooms have high ceilings

spaciousness is important so furnishings are minimal

little texture, pattern, color, and few decorative objects


follow concepts and language of design established earlier by Bauhaus designers and others

many pieces by architects

simple and functional designs with no applied ornament or references to historical styles

anonymity, geometry, and hygienic industrial materials are key

Shingle Style and American Arts and Crafts

18 Aug

Shingle Style and American Arts and Crafts:

unique to architecture in the Untied States

New England’s Colonial architecture combined with English Queen Anne style

picturesque, rambling, irregular, and covered with wood shingles


roots of Shingle Style are in English Queen Anne architecture and 17th century building of New England

shingles, additive or rambling qualities, and broad roofs characteristic of early houses become defining elements


flowers, trees, foliage, animals, geometric motifs, Gothic details, and Oriental images


came from explorations of Colonial architecture and resort vacations to the newly wealthy leisured class

style appeals because it recalls but is not shackled by the past and exhibits freedom of expression, informality, and continuity of texture

shingles cover all or nearly all the wall surfaces, columns, and details

Materials- wood is the main material, few examples of stone or rubble

Arts and Crafts- simple host, emphasizing structure and function, vernacular traditions, close ties to the landscape and location


integrate architecture, furnishings, and decorative arts into a unified whole

Shingle- take influences from English Queen Anne and Japanese architecture

attention to details and handcrafted work complement the harmonious concept of the blend

open space, asymmetrical arrangements, horizontality, rectangular shapes


furniture designed by architects Wright or the Greene brothers

individually handcrafted or mass-produced

furniture is arranged around architectural elements

Materials- oak, mahogany or rosewood

English Arts and Crafts

18 Aug

English Arts and Crafts:

reform development strives to change the working conditions of  craftspeople while improving quality of design

emphasizes pre-industrial values

medieval-like craft guilds

promotes intelligent space planning , allowances for human needs, design unity, harmony with the natural environment, and honesty of materials

blend these principles with concepts from the vernacular, Japan, and others


attempts to reform both design and society by uniting art and craftsmanship

simplicity, suitability to purpose,  structural honesty, honest use of materials, excellent craftsmanship, functionality, elimination of the unnecessary, and regionalism or sense of peace


sunflowers, lilies, birds, images and letters from medieval manuscripts, Gothic details, and Oriental images


many variations because of the individualist architects who believe in freedom of expression and frequently experiment with form and materials

visual language uses individual forms and elements to symbolize home, family, refuge, and shelter

materials and structure depict the function of the building and interiors within

Materials- stone, brick, and wood


intergrate elements of architecture along with furnishings and decorative arts into a unified whole

attention to details and handcrafted work complement the concept of the parts blended into a whole

free-flowing space, asymmetrical organization, horizontal movement, rectangular shapes, and straight lines


displays similar concepts to architecture and interiors

revealed structure, truth of and delight in materials, and compositions based upon vernacular or traditional forms

freedom in expression and marked individuality

Materials- local woods, oak, elm, some designers used exotic woods for accents, inlay, veneers, and marquetry


Aesthetic Movement

11 Aug

Aesthetic Movement:

Aesthetic Movement attempts to reform design by educating consumers about artistic principles

attitude or philosophy instead of a single style

draws upon many styles and cultures

largely rejects the idea art should serve a higher, moral purpose


Advances the idea that good taste is not ostentatious display

careful planning on educated knowledge of artistic principles

preferring no style above any other and avoid historicism


sunflowers, peacock feathers, lilies, paisley, flowers, leaves, Japanese forms, insects, butterflies, birds


no specific architectural style

inspires far-ranging effects in architecture and subsequent stylistic developments in both England and America

open planning and simplicity effect later styles like Shingle and Arts and Crafts


public and private interiors main conveyors of the design characteristics

asymmetry, unity, harmony, constrast

patterns on walls, floors, ceilings, furniture, accessories

wooden floors with area rugs


Shuns historical styles and sets or suites of furniture for a more personal expression and new informality

vary styles and different cultures

cluttered rooms with arm chairs, side chairs, footstools, small tables, large tables, plant stands, music stands, shelves, wall cabinets and folding screens


11 Aug


19th century utopian religious groups influenced the architecture, interiors, and furniture of American Shakers

it grew from their belief system and worldview

minimal ornament, simple forms, perfected proportions, and excellent craftsmanship

reflect the lifestyles of Shakers and Modernism aspects of the 20th century


Doctrines separation from the world, communal living, lives centered on worship and work, equality between sexes

They isolate themselves physically in villages to escape worldly and outside influences

buildings, interiors, and furniture are planned primarily for work, division of labor by task and gender, and celibacy

Important life and design principles- economy, efficiency, function

those principles are the guidelines for beauty

Shakers believe that fulfilling task wholeheartedly shows love of God and the group.


Shaker architecture eschews fashion and style in favor of neatness, efficiency, function, easy maintenance

unembellished forms, refined proportions, and discreet emphasis upon beauty in materials was found in most buildings

some buildings adopt stick, queen anne, and shingle styles

buildings tend to have two entrances male and female

Materials- materials varied due to the regions

Mount Lebanon meetinghouses of clapboards, Dwellings of wood, brick, limestone, granite

Kentucky and New Hampshire built with brick and lime stone

meetinghouses are painted white


Shaker interiors exhibit- uniformity, simplicity, function and easy maintenance with materials and furnishings

most rooms are white plaster walls, bright painted trim, built-in cupboards and drawers, wood strips with peg legs for hanging clothing, and cast iron stove

Floors- wood planks (painted or stained)


Shaker furniture  reflects belief system and supports their lifestyle just as architecture and interiors

relies on materials, form, silhouette, and function for beauty

practical and easy to clean furniture

little ornament because it was to worldly

Materials- eastern furniture is of pine, maple, birch, ash, cherry, hickory, and butternut