Archive | September, 2011

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