A Very Brief Guide To Design Movements – Modernism

This is part of a series of posts summarising key points of different design movements, see A Very Brief Guide To Design Movements – Introduction for more information.



A concept that covered a range of movements from Bauhaus to ‘pop culture’, used very freely and not always well defined

1930s to 1970s

Had already been developing in other aspects of culture such as literature and thefine arts with radical challenges to realism e.g. Cubism, T.S.Eliot

Made possible by the development of popular consumerism and mass production


Inspired by the developing new technology, philosophy etc

  e.g. the space age and the efficiency of the compact living quarters in space

Aimed to unify with standardisation, ‘cultureless’, timeless, minimalism

Utopian futurism

More international than the previous mainly European-based movements as post-war a lot of the previous designers had emigrated to the US & better communication


Post War limited resources encouraged efficiency

Companies such as Herman Miller inc, IKEA, Knoll, Vitra

Included designers like Verner Panton (living spaces), Le Corbusier (architecture), Mies Van Der Rohe (architecture), Charles Eames, Isamu Noguchi etc

Used new materials, mainly metals and plastics e.g. chrome, plate glass, fibreglass, Bakelite, moulded rubber, expanded foam

 560084_ae98d895e968f72fe309ee6b834cfc82MIC0053EFW-DT032 Isamu_Noguchi_Freeform_Sofa_jpt    Red-view-onColorful-Nelson-Marshmallow-Sofa-by-Irving-Harper robin-day-chair_1768955b

CASE STUDY – Charles Eames

 efw-dc003 Hang-it-all-by-Vitra-by-Charles-Eames-image-1-350x350010


2 thoughts on “A Very Brief Guide To Design Movements – Modernism

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s