Monday, December 6, 2010

The Genius of Design - Review 2

This second chapter 'Design for Living' explores the 1920's and 1930's. This era saw a move towards design that joins things together. A move that employed functionalism with asthetics. It was to deepen the exploration of what things should be, whether a home is a mans castle or a machine for living in?, if the kitchen is the heart of the home or a factory for cooking in? These are just some of the archetypal questions thrown up by the move and change in thinking.

In 1919 a center for new thinking was opened in Germay - the Dessau Bauhaus. It was a school that combined crafts and fine arts. Here, the boundries of design were broken down and the result was modern furniture. Each era developed new methods and new technologies and for this era the signature technology was tubular steel. This era moved away from Art Nouveau which was in vogue at the turn of the century and geared towards avant-garde design which was able to provide the most for less for the greatest number of people.

With this shift in design along came fitted furniture. The first fitted kitchen, known as the 'Frankfurt Kitchen' was designed by Margarete Schutte-Lihotzky and was a response to the need for cost efficient housing in Germany after World War 1. 

Le Corbusiers' fitted house was also featured as an extremely advanced design for its time. But what became evident from his design is that the house became a machine for living in but also that people had to become machines.  

Other features in this chapter included;
  • Georgre Carwardine's anglepoise lamp of 1937 which shows the engineering functional workings of the lamp.
  • The 3 piece suite was developed in the 30's which was to open up a whole new level of comfort for people.
  • Also reiterated was the self expression of design amoungst european designers against the American's pragmatic approach and reliance on capitalism.   

No comments:

Post a Comment