Friday, April 29, 2011


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
Finally, the interior decorating industry came about when women started decorating their homes. Along with interior decorating came the rise of the mega firm.  The new trend is instead of going out, go up.  One design detail that became popular was instead of putting things inside the walls put them on the outside. Pompidou center for art which is located in Paris is a prime example of this. He put the water and heating ducts on the outside and used bold and bright colors to not only make it more aesthetically pleasing but to in a way “color-code” the ducts.  This is the new design wave. So many doors to design are opening at this point. The design world is searching for something. It is always searching for the next best thing, for something that is bigger and better, for something modern. Just like the definition of modern is different for everyone and is always changing, so will design. Design stands in the eye of the beholder and will always be evolving into something newer. We are the designers and the world is our canvas, all we have to do is paint what we envision and imagine.


Monday, April 18, 2011


Reading Response #12


Scandinavian Modern  Design 

"As with most of Europe, modernity in Scandinavian design represented a radical shift from provincial isolation to self-assertiveness in an international design setting. A century of intense design activity had commenced about 1880 throughout Europe and no less in the vast and diverse geographic region encompassing Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland. From Scandinavia's variegated matrix of politics, cultures, languages and traditions, there emerged a multifaceted design philosophy that became a major international influence."

 The Superstructure chair by Bjorn Dahlstrom is a perfect example of modern Scandinavian design.

"Each country within Scandinavia played a significant role in the formation of a modern tradition, and each responded to the challenges of the modern world in a distinctive manner. All the countries recognized social equality, industrialization and urbanization as major factors of modern life. Yet, these factors and their impact on the arts and crafts were encountered differently in each country, giving a special identity to the design traditions of each. By the mid-century, however, these designs became known as a style and the history of modern Scandinavian design suggests there are unifying features – humanism, tradition, moderation, hand-crafted perfectionism, modesty, quietude and purposefulness – within the traditions of each country that encourage such a generalization. This exhibition of decorative arts and design attempts to address both these unifying qualities and the distinct differences."

Scandinavian countries have many objects that date back as far as the Ice Age. Scandinavian modern art is complex and deals with nature and is very sophisticated. It consists of very organic shapes and styles.  It is very important to design because it is based off of what is naturally around us. Many architecture and objects are based off the same ideals and design just like this chair. 

Monday, April 11, 2011


This Little Light of Mine, I'm Gonna Let It Shine...
Lamps are a good design for all and have been around for ages.

"The first lamp was invented around 70,000 BC. A hollow rock, shell or other natural found object was filled with moss or a similar material that was soaked with animal fat and ignited. Wicks were later added to control the rate of burning. Around the 7th century BC, the Greeks began making terra cotta lamps to replace handheld torches. The word lamp is derived from the Greek word lampas, meaning torch."

Lamps have been around for a very long time. They can be very inexpensive and are very common in today's design. One good and very versatile quality of lamps is the fact that they come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, patterns, textures, and brightness. They are used to light up a room that has little or no natural  light and they are used to light up a room when it is night time and there is not any natural sunlight. Lamps can be found in many and most rooms of a house or building. They have kept the same purpose but they have changed how they look on the outside.

 Lamp 1800's

 Lamp Early 1900's

 Lamp Mid-Late 1900's

 Lamp 2011

 Lamp 2011

Reading Response 12