Design movements

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Art Noveau

Googled definition: a style of decorative art, architecture, and design prominent in western Europe and the USA from about 1890 until the First World War and characterized by intricate linear designs and flowing curves based on natural forms. 

What you need to know: Art Noveau is a pattern with flowing, curvy designs that interweave natural forms, such as flowers and insects.


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Art Deco

Googled definition: the predominant decorative art style of the 1920s and 1930s, characterized by precise and boldly delineated geometric shapes and strong colours and used most notably in household objects and in architecture.

What you need to know: Art Deco is a pattern inspired by Egyptian and African art. It utilises bold colours, striking patterns such as zigzag and geometrical, bold sweeping curves and very commonly, sunburst motifs. An architecture example is the Chrysler Building in New York.

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Very strange name, but one that you need to remember for the exam!

Googled definition: None

What you need to know: Bauhaus was a design movement based in Germany. It's founder, Walter Gropius, had a motto; "form follows function". This means that the aesthetics of a product should come second to the function. He strived to make products for their purpose over their looks, which is why furniture in this style often has chrome tubing and black leather.

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De Stijl

Another unique name! Will we ever get a break?

Googled definition: The Netherlands-based De Stijl movement embraced an abstract, pared-down aesthetic centered in basic visual elements such as geometric forms and primary colors.

What you need to know: It was a Dutch Modernist movement, where the designs created were simplistic and very stripped back in nature. Simple shapes and primary colours were used as well as horizontal and vertical lines as to not overcomplicate the products. An example is the Red and Blue chair by Gerrit Rietveld.

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Googled definition: a late 20th-century style and concept in the arts, architecture, and criticism, which represents a departure from modernism and is characterized by the self-conscious use of earlier styles and conventions, a mixing of different artistic styles and media, and a general distrust of theories.

What you need to know: Postmodernists are against the idea that Bauhaus presented, which was "form follows function". Instead, they believe that style should be the priority of the product. The Memphis movement was big during postmodernism, and these designs used striking, contrasting materials and colours to make the product as aesthetically pleasing as possible. This is just one style of postmodernism. 2 others are kitsch (tacky and tasteless) and extreme minimalism (designs without decorative features). An example of Memphis design is Ettore Sottsass's Carlton cabinet.

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