It is difficult to establish the origins of design; people have always wanted to beautify and organize their environment. But it is mainly from the 19th century we see appearing real design movements. The latter relying first on different underlying theories but also based on a certain production and mass communication that allowed their dissemination.
Here are 5 examples of design movements that marked their time, and that continue to influence our everyday lives.
1. The Arts & Crafts movement
This movement appeared in England during the second half of the 19th century and is considered one of the earliest styles of modern design. Why? It was characterized by a genuine intention to oppose the rapid industrialization of society. Arts & Crafts valued craftsmanship and manual talent, whether in carpentry or textiles.
The forms proposed by the Arts & Crafts movement are simple and organic, especially inspired by nature and romance. This design also relied heavily on the aesthetics of the Middle Ages.
2. The Bauhaus
The Bauhaus was the first design school, inaugurated in Germany in 1919. Unlike the craftsmen of Arts & Crafts, Bauhaus architects and designers did not see industrialization as the enemy; they wanted to “control” this industrial process through style and design. The Bauhaus style wanted to bridge the gap between technology, art, and crafts. The Bauhaus style is based on simple and balanced geometric shapes. The objects corresponding to this style, especially the famous Barcelona chair by Mie’s van der Roe, are both beautiful, simple and futuristic.
The Bauhaus movement emphasized the functional side of objects, and even if the aesthetic aspect was also valued, it had to be done with a minimum of frills. The motto of this school of thought, quite revolutionary for the time: “form follows function,” emphasizing the importance of creating first for utility and then for beauty.
3. Scandinavian design
As its name suggests, this style emerged in 4 Nordic countries: Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway after the Second World War. His aestheticism is resolutely simple and minimalist. The underlying principles were a return to basics and democratization of well-designed and quality objects so that they would be accessible to everyone rather than simply too wealthy people.
It is important to understand that even before modern times, the style in Scandinavia has always been simple and functional; it is a tradition and an ascetic culture deeply rooted in this region of the world. Following the Second World War, this philosophy and Scandinavian “lifestyle” was simply more exposed to the rest of the world and became highly desirable, which contributed to the influence of style and the growth of creativity that has known its craftsmen.
4. The Mid-Century Modern Movement
Rediscovered recently, this movement specifically North American was dominant between the 1940s and 1960s. This movement in architecture and interior design is in a sense the heir of the Bauhaus and the Scandinavian style, which he reinterprets with materials and geography which are his own.
This urban style symbolizes the beautiful years of the suburbs and all the optimism of the post-war period. Specifically, the movement wanted to adapt to the new specific needs of “modern” families of the time, which now counted on a multitude of new home appliances. Mid-Century architecture offers kitchens with large counter and storage areas, as well as large windows. But above all, it puts on a connection between inside and outside, we see through sliding doors and terraces and courtyards.
5. Experimental urban design: the example of Habitat 67
Inaugurated in April 1967, Habitat 67 is a completely revolutionary project. Directed by Moshe Sadie, an architect in his twenties who had just finished his studies, this “radical” project wanted to combine the benefits of life in the suburbs (for example access to greenery for all), in a dense urban complex, modular and even prefabricated, taking advantage of all modern construction and engineering techniques.
The Habitat 67 complex is made up of 364 cubes grouped into 146 apartments, with many different combinations. The apartments combine the concepts of intimacy and community, the terrace of one corresponding to the roof of others. In terms of interior design, the advantage of cubes was to offer a canvas to personify to infinity. Large windows, straight lines, green spaces, unobstructed views, and concrete are the threads.