November 17, 2010

Reading Comp #6

[1] A common theme of the early twentieth century found in Roth, Harwood, and Massey set the tone for an understanding of styles in architecture and design influenced by fine art. Selecting either Arts + Crafts or Art Nouveau, TRACE the influences of the selected style in more than two nations. In your answer, you should include evidence from the readings and at least two annotated images as support for your analysis of influences.

"Art Nouveau is a complex, eclectic international movement that comprises various styles in Europe and North America." (Harwood pg. 482)

Rejecting historical styles and adopting new ideas was the basis to every designer embracing the Art Nouveau style. The era was greatly influenced by fine art and the Industrial Revolution developing in Europe and the United States, but short lived from about 1890 to 1910.
In Paris, Hector Guimard introduecd Art Nouveau in the Paris Metro entrances with the combination of glass, iron, and stone creating a display of "quality vernacular romanticism with organic, fluid designs" (Harwood pg.498).

Paris Metro

While in places like Barcelona, Antonio Gaudi is creating structures that depict human bodies by moulding pillars and beams into organic curves that capture bone like forms, supporting the body of work.

Casa Batllo

[2] Originating at the Bauhaus and in the work of LeCorbusier, the so-called Modern movement deeply influenced design and architecture of the twentieth century. The great debate raised by this new approach to design involved the presence of the machine in the design process and final products. SPECULATE about the implications of “machines for living” and the famous dictum “less is more” on design today. Use at least one ARTIFACT, SPACE, or BUILDING in your answer, providing a salient image (cited) and annotation to help bolster your argument. [10 POINTS POSSIBLE]

When I think of modern, I think of simple forms, crisp edges, and the bare minimum needed to have the form function as desired. I definitely think that "less is more" in the modernism era and designers of furniture, residential, and businesses began to implement flat lines and basic geometric shapes. Historical forms and structures had no impact on structures of the twentieth century, unlike all the previous design eras. Modernism can be displayed in numerous forms but I think of the unique buildings that are built during this time.

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