Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Genius of Design, Part 2

Since the 1920s, Our lives have been curiously shaped by design movements that would help us adapt to new social trends.  After the First World War, the growth of industrialization influenced our surroundings, as well as our relationship with tools.

An incubator of this idea was Bauhaus, a movement wherein designers closely examined objects and their functions, taking examples from mass production, using raw materials with no ornamentation, providing their clients with ergonomic objects and spaces whose efficiency and ease of use made life easier.

An example of this reimagination of efficient space at Bauhaus was the Frankfurt kitchen, where the floor plan was organized for efficiency, allowing the cook to easily access either the condiments or the pots, wherever she stood within that space.

Other rooms of houses saw similar redesigns. It was a radical idea for those days when most buildings were  highly ornamented, thanks to the influence of Art Nouveau. The influence of Bauhaus would give us more control of our spaces, allowing us to divide them and make them multifunctional.
The age of heavily ornamented living spaces was fading. Antiques would still complement homes with more modern floor plans and furnishings. New York, the mecca of art and innovation, was on forefront of this movement of twofold elegance and simplicity, from the design of the Bauhaus era and beyond.

A major influence of the genius of design occurs when the designer has the best interests of the buyer and the producer at heart. Times change, and when our lifestyles reflect that, the adept designer is quick to spot the new trend, providing us with ways to negotiate with our new surroundings. It's been happening since after the First World War, with the growth of industrialization: our evolving relationship with our living (and working) spaces.

The Bauhaus movement encouraged us to consider the implications of industry for lifestyle. In our homes, we might want to think about how we might make basic home chores more efficient.  Is it any wonder that our most basic household appliances--keeping the modern family in mind--issue the greatest good for the greatest number?

The Frankfurt Kitchen, an early project of the Bauhaus movement, was all about the measurement  of space, posing the question: how can we most easily route the kitchen user to both the condiments or pots, the dishes and the silverware, from any vantage point in the room?

This concept would influence how we would repurpose the remainder of our living space. If it was to be a flexible house, like Bauhus said, then we should have control of our space, to be able to divide it into as many areas as was needed to improve its multifunctionality. 

All this pushing away of the old style! But did this mean that devotees to the Bauhaus effect would throw out their furniture? Existing furniture had a place in the democratic movement that was Bauhaus, making one's household investment ornamental to the times. A showcase for this evolution was New York, and that did little to prevent the new floor plans and furnishings from finding their way into homes across the the US.

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