I would have to say that this last unit has been my favorite because it is all very interesting material. We covered world fairs and we covered the arts and crafts movement. We looked at how all these different aspects inspire design.
One thing that we covered was the world’s fairs. They were a way for everyone to show off their creativity, their craftsmanship, and their talent in design. Fairs showcased the next big thing. Everything seemed to be bigger, better, brighter, and more bold than previous objects and creations. World fairs were not only very productive with its commercial aspects, aka: bringing in revenue, they were also opportunities for creative minds from all around the world to showcase their talent and their ideas and works. Although fairs seem pretty seamless and very well put together, it is not easy doing so. We fail to recognize that fairs are immense and full of awe and wonder, not to mention full of people. These fairs’ capacities for people are pretty impressive. Fairs were very impressive because they introduced well known designs such as the Ferris wheel and the Eiffel tower. These events were definitely affairs to remember.
Another thing that we discussed was the Arts and Crafts movement. It focused on using simplistic design, hand-crafted objects, and using local and natural materials. A controversy during this movement was whether hand-crafted or machine-made is better in terms of design and quality. Frank Lloyd Wright was one designer that was very well known for handcrafted design. The holistic design approach was what defined Wright and defined him as a designer for the Arts and Crafts movement.
Continuing on throughout design history, art nouveau is next. This period was characterized by graceful, flowing outlines and stylized natural forms found in our everyday average backyard such as flowers or trees. Curvature of lines and fluidity and movement are signature features of the Art Nouveau period. Salvador Dali said this, “The terrifying and edible beauty of Art Nouveau architecture.” Antonio Gaudi was one of the many designers that drew his inspiration from things such as stems.
Interior of a dome in the Grand Palais