Modernist design  

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The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli
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The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli
See also modernism, modern design, International Style and modernist architecture.

Modernist design is a period in the history of industrial design, starting with Bauhaus and De Stijl in the 1920s.

Modernist architects and designers believed that new technology rendered old styles of building obsolete. Le Corbusier thought that buildings should function as "machines for living", analogous to cars, which he saw as machines for traveling in. Just as cars had replaced the horse, so modernist design should reject the old styles and structures inherited from Ancient Greece or from the Middle Ages. Following this machine aesthetic, modernist designers typically reject decorative motifs in design, preferring to emphasize the materials used and pure geometrical forms. The skyscraper, such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Seagram Building in New York (19561958), became the archetypal modernist building. Modernist design of houses and furniture also typically emphasized straight lines, simplicity and clarity of form, open-plan interiors, and the absence of clutter. Modernism reversed the 19th century relationship of public and private: in the 19th century, public buildings were horizontally expansive for a variety of technical reasons, and private buildings emphasized verticality—to fit more private space on more and more limited land. Conversely, in the 20th century, public buildings became vertically oriented, and private buildings became organized horizontally. Many aspects of modernist design still persist within the mainstream of contemporary architecture today, though its previous dogmatism has given way to a more playful use of decoration, historical quotation, and spatial drama associated with postmodern architecture.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Modernist design" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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