20th Century Design: Week 5 Complete

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Week five of 20th Century Design is complete.

This week we learned about Modernity, Modernism, Art Deco and the ‘moderne’ in the years 1918-1939 as well as Melbourne architecture between 1930-1968. We have began to focus attention on Modernism in Australia, as this is part of our major assignment (research essay). Part of that essay is also to find many different resources that relate to Modernism in Australia. I am having trouble tracking some down the text books Modernism & Australia: Documents on Art, Design and Architecture 1917-1967 by Stephen and McNamara and Modern Times: The untold story of Modernism in Australia by Stephen and McNamara and may have to purchase them. ? I want to try and get them as soon as possible, so if I can’t find an online version (or used copy) by next week I will buy them.

Here are some basic notes that I took during the lecture & learning materials.

Moderne is design that has some elements of Modernism but does not follow all of them. For example, it may appear simplistic, use form follows function and other elements of Modernism, but lack the component of social good or accessibility and be for commercial gain.

Art Deco is a style of design that focussed on extravagant decoration. The rich, luxurious, mixed styles of different periods of time and cultures. It was about being displayed and showing status and style. Art Deco used modern technology to promote and advertise the ideal of a luxury modern world. Such as packaging, posters, magazine advertisements, etc.

Australian design was largely influenced by the economical climate of the time. Prior to the great depression the extravagance of Art Deco was popular. However, when the great depression hit and unemployment was very low, there was no room or capital to create such ornamental design, and simplistic Modernism was embraced (when available, large portions of the population could not afford a home or even food).

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