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Key Movements in Design

Victorian Style (1837-1901)

This style we can be definitely considered to be the first trend,
which began to develop industrial design.

As the name itself indicates, the Victorian style developed in the

period of the reign of Queen Victoria and included not only
design but also had a big influence on the architecture.

It was a period of great transformations, the second Industrial

Revolution broke out, there was the development of industry,
technology and inventions and a mass production was also
Victorian Style (1837-1901)
Victorian Style (1837-1901)
Style highlights:
• distinguished by the severity of the numerous
ornaments and form reloaded
• artificial pomposity of ornaments, decorations,
which occupied every available space in interiors
• lack of consistency of style and quality, which
seemed to be cheesy
• application of new materials
• eclectic (the use of styles from different periods)
Arts & Crafts (1850-1914)
Arts and Crafts Movement was founded in Great Britain in
response to the mass production, having been pioneered by the
industrial revolution. It was propagating a program of revival of
the art and the craft.

It was believed that the industrial revolution through mass

production had led to the collapse of the taste, the personality
and the morality of people. Arts and Craft caused that the
products were made by hand, the return of handicraft.
Straighter forms, large smooth surfaces and linear shapes
started taking the place of products overloaded with the
decorative art. Motiffes were often taken from nature.
Arts & Crafts (1850-1914)
Arts & Crafts (1850-1914)
Style highlights:
• simple forms
• inspiration with natural forms, the flora and the
• simple linear shapes
• abstract forms, inspired by movement and mystical
• use of high quality materials
• an interest in Gothic, medieval art, using bold forms
and strong colours based on medieval design
Art Nouveau (1880-1910)
Art Nouveau was a concerted attempt to create an international style based
on decoration. The essence of this movement was to strive for the unity of
the stylish art, by combining its activities in various areas, particularly arts
and crafts, interior design, sculpture and graphics.

Inspired by Japan culture, they began to use oriental, simple forms, the white
spaces in their works as well as they started to assimilate new approach in
the problem of perspective, free composition, asymmetry and bright colour.

In contrast to Arts And Crafts, Art Nouveau began to use media technology to
mass production. Representatives of this trend, having been fascinated by
new technologies, began to use new materials, construction and techniques
Art Nouveau (1880-1910)
Art Nouveau (1880-1910)
Style highlights:
• curved lines and organic shapes,
• winding, non-geometrical, rough edges
• asymmetry,
• colours: mostly bright, delicate, such as white
or lilac,
• inspiration of Japan culture.
Modernism (1880-1940)
Modernism is the trend in avant-garde art, design and
architecture. The main objective of this trend was to
strive for originality, innovations, thereby rejecting the
tradition and false rationalism.

Modernism was a revolt against the conservative

values, in exchange was interested in it what is unusual
and unknown. This often led to experimentation with
form, highlight the processes and materials being used
and it showed tendencies to the abstraction.
Modernism (1880-1940)
Modernism (1880-1940)
Style highlights:
• using new materials such as concrete, steel, glass,
• simple forms, devoid of decorative elements,
• using simple mass, smooth finishes of walls and open
space plan in architecture,
• austere (severe or strict) interiors, it was desirable
to provide order,
• modular, simple furniture,
• using toned down, natural colours.
Art Deco (1910-1939)
Art deco was a reaction to the Art Nouveau movement, an expression of the
opposition to the disharmony. This style diverged significantly into the future,
began to use mass production to create useful objects, however consistent
their highest quality. Because of that they unfortunately were not available to
the whole society.

Exploiting geometrical, trapezoidal shapes were characteristic features of this

style. People were more and more travelling, therefore Egyptian, Aztec,
African or ancient motifs were becoming more popular and accessible in
ornamentation. In addition, artists began to use materials such as ivory,
ebony, silver, pearls, which were also imported from foreign travel. By using
new materials, Art Deco objects looked elegant, were both styled and
Art Deco (1910-1939)
Art Deco (1910-1939)
Style highlights:
• applying geometric shapes, sharp edges, but with rounded
• using materials such as chrome, glass, shiny fabrics, mirrors,
ceramic tiles, bakelite and expensive, imported materials such
as ivory, bronze, precious stones,
• shells, sunrises, flowers were recurring motifs,
• bright colours,
• using historical themes e.g. Egyptian,
• architecture with large windows and doors, flat roofs, corner
windows often appeared,
• furniture in single copies, streamline shapes.
Bauhaus (1919-1933)
This Art college, which was founded in Germany, was arising with specific
antithesis (opposite) of the Arts and Crafts movement. It sought to use
technology in mass production, in the same time threw away single
handicraft which in its workmanship was a luxury good, being too expensive
for the average society class.

The art presented by artists of the Bauhaus expressed the simplicity in the
form, was using repetition of elements and textures. They were using
straight, regular lines.

The importance of materials such as plastic, aluminium, chrome, concrete,

steel was emphasized. Above all they were putting the functionality, as well
as the simplicity which does not interfere with human life.
Bauhaus (1919-1933)
Bauhaus (1919-1933)
Style highlights:
• simplicity of the forms, lines, shapes,
• regular, repetitive forms,
• projects which give the impression of lightness, using new materials to
achieve this purpose,
• using mostly aluminium, steel, chrome, plastic and glass,
• simple, beautiful, but at the same time inexpensive furniture,
• functionality of the product – a form derived from the function,
• using frequently concrete in constructions, including interiors,
• lack of ornamentation,
• regional conditions, climates, landscapes and inhabitants customs were
leading into the architecture form.
Organic Design (1930-60, 1990)
Organic designs gained the inspiration from nature and wildlife.
Living in harmony with nature was inspiring artists to create
products and architecture, using delicate forms, cylindrical
shapes, smooth lines. Buildings became the part of the

Design respected the product user and the form followed the
function. This style emanated the sensitivity, the harmonious
and the lack of sharp edges.

The first organic projects were created during the interwar

period, however the bloom of this movement took place after
the second world war.
Organic Design (1930-60, 1990-)
Organic Design (1930-60, 1990-)
Style highlights:
• mild, smooth lines and sculptural forms,
• holistic design, referring to the surrounding environment,
• using both natural and synthetic materials, from which it was
easy to model organic forms,
• delicacy of the form,
• buildings, furniture harmonize with the surroundings, the
architecture with the landscape,
• inspiration taken from nature,
• projects were supposed to meet the social, physical and
spiritual needs.
Minimalism (1967-1978)
Minimalism emerged in the 50s of the twentieth
century, but it was rapidly growing in the years
60s, 70s. This trend was a reaction to the
consumerism of society. As the name itself
suggests, designers of this movement were
minimizing the use of art means, decoration.
Artists were using simplified form, the basic
shapes in their projects such as triangles, circles,
squares, smooth surfaces, limited number of
colours, lines and textures.
Minimalism (1967-1978)
Minimalism (1967-1978)
Style highlights:
• simplicity and harmony in interiors and furniture,
• open spaces in interiors,
• avoiding inner walls,
• the illumination had the significant influence on
• using basic geometric shapes – squares, triangles,
• colour white was dominating,
• furniture and decorations limited to the minimum,
• elegant.
Pop Art (1958-1972)
As the name Pop art suggests it was also drawing its
inspiration from the culture of music – popular culture.

The main topic of paintings were well-known

celebrities with the legendary example of Marilyn
Monroe. Pop art was in some extent a satire, because
artists were persuading the museums to invest large
sums of money in the paintings of mundane themes
made with acrylic paints on plywood, which quickly
was becoming ruined.
Pop Art (1958-1972)
Pop Art (1958-1972)
Style highlights:
• bright, rainbow colours,
• expressive forms,
• using mainly plastic,
• using repetitions in art,
• using well-known personalities, consumer
products in works of art,
• comics inspiration.
Post Modernism (1978-)
Postmodernism is a movement in architecture, art, which
developed as the response on the simplicity and rationality of

The creators of this style drew inspiration from historical styles,

mixed them. Therefore we can say that the lack of a particular
style characterized postmodernism. Post-modern design object
was supposed to take care of the comfort of the body, mind and
the soul of its user. It was believed that creating buildings,
objects with a certain message and symbolism will attract users
which did not want to live in austere modernist interiors.
Therefore, in postmodernism times return to ornamentation
took place.
Post Modernism (1978-)
Post Modernism (1978-)
Style highlights:
• combining previous styles,
• superficial decorations,
• collage, photomontage in graphic,
• playing with the form,
• form individually adjusted to the user,
• using many layers and mixing them,
• pastel colours.
American Kitsch (1940-1960)
American kitsch otherwise known as Golden
50s, can be described as a trend in which the
decorative was dominating. Artists were using
unusual colours. Kitsch was often described as
too sentimental, vulgar and pretentious. It was
seen by some as an expression of bad taste.
American Kitsch (1940-1960)
American Kitsch (1940-1960)
Style highlights:
• copying art icons,
• presenting people in dramatic poses,
• appearing motifs of atomic bombs, aeroplanes,
• exaggerated use of decorations, ornaments,
• aerodynamic shapes,
• exceeding principles of the functionality in the kitschy object,
collecting different functions in one object,
• impact on many senses in the same time,
• avoiding everything that is difficult and inconvenient.
Space Age (1960-1969)
Space age, it is a period in which the society was
fascinated with space travels, therefore were
created projects that had futuristic character. In
1969 the Apollo XI expedition ended with
success, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were
the first people which put the first steps on the
Moon. Space exploration has become a
ubiquitous theme.
Space Age (1960-1969)
Space Age (1960-1969)
Style highlights:
• futuristic shapes,
• silver, white and blue colours,
• space motifs,
• smooth, shiny surfaces,
• using such materials as glass, metal, plastic.
De-constructivism (1988-)
Deconstructivism began to develop in the 80′s of the twentieth
century, being a continuation of post-modern architecture.

Designers disturbed the ordinary space and basic characteristics

of traditional buildings such as e.g. the body/block/shape of the
building and frame construction.

Many walls are curved, some waving, others are simply broken.
As a result, buildings are characterized by a stimulating
unpredictability and controlled chaos. Architects rejected
ornamentations, while interesting form was for them some kind
of decoration.
Deconstruktivism (1988-)
Deconstruktivism (1988-)
Style highlights:
• using broken, shredded forms,
• multi-layered structures, twisted geometries,
• rejecting the decoration,
• multilayered fonts and images imposing
different interpretations.