Thursday, March 22, 2007

collision course

Todd describes the clients style preferences as having an unusual range: nature, the hand-made, Arts and Crafts, and Mid-Century Modern.

Hold on a minute. (I'm afraid I'm going to have to be insufferably pedantic so bear with me. This won't last long and it should be relatively painless.)

There is absolutely nothing unusual about this range of styles. In fact this is a distinct design lineage that fits together perfectly.

For some reason this combination of tastes causes the designers to freak out. They seem to feel that Mid-Century Modern and Arts and Crafts are “colliding” styles, as Andrea puts it.

Architects might be more inclined to see the two styles as colliding if they think of modern architecture in terms of the international style rather than in terms of residential architecture, but this show is not called Top Non-residential Architect.

One problem is that the designers seem to be fixated on the idea that Mid-century Modern = Eames which they define (if they have any idea of it at all) as a focus on mass-produced, machine made, the use of new materials and bright colors. This is a very narrow description of Mid-Century Modern (as well as the work of Charles and Ray Eames). Mid-century modern also included designers like Isamu Noguchi who uses organic shapes and natural materials, just to take one of many examples.

Basically the designers seem to have a rather fuzzy understanding of the Arts and Crafts and Mid-century Modern movements.

Carisa informs us that Arts and Crafts is a 20th century movement illustrated by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Oy. Carisa is not exactly wrong. The trouble is that this is not exactly the right definition of the Arts and Crafts movement.
  • Arts and Crafts is primarily a 19th century movement.
  • It started in England with William Morris.
  • Its most important American figure is Gustav Stickley.
  • It is associated with mission style furniture and bungalow architecture.
Frank Lloyd Wright is considered part of the Arts and Crafts movement—particularly his early Prairie School work. However, his work falls at the very end of the Arts and Crafts movement and marks its transformation into modernism. In many respects Frank Lloyd Wright is a bridge between Arts and Crafts and Mid-Century Modern which is one reason why they are not such “colliding” styles.


Linda Merrill's :: surroundings has a nice post on arts and crafts movement with a variety of images including several Frank Lloyd Wright homes. You can see the difference between his earlier bungalow style in the Robie house and the later modernist lines of Falling Water.

And while I'm at it, I'll remind you that Chicago is the architectural locus for both the Prairie School and the Modern/International style (discussed in this earlier post).
Why does Bravo do this? It is such a disservice to viewers to not use this as an opportunity to educate viewers. Or at least let them know what the hell everyone is talking about.

a few resources :

arts and crafts isamu noguchi (brand new site: he's a favorite.)

frank lloyd wright -- some basic sites
charles and ray eames -- basic sites
mid century modern
on the web this is basically a commercial category; the best thing would be a book list (forthcoming)


Linda Merrill said...

Thanks for this info Trixie! You're great at distilling big ideas into easily understandable concepts.

Linda Merrill said...

Thanks for linking, I've returned the favor. And you're right:
"It is VERY hard to keep these explations simple!!"

I thought I'd do a quickie history of these styles, but go so bogged down in the side street of history that I mainly kept it to photos.

eric3000 said...

Great post! And Isamu Noguchi is a perfect example of a designer who was involved in hand-crafting AND mass production.

Anonymous said...

Do You interesting how to [b]Buy Viagra per pill[/b]? You can find below...
[size=10]>>>[url=][b]Buy Viagra per pill[/b][/url]<<<[/size]

[b]Bonus Policy[/b]
Order 3 or more products and get free Regular Airmail shipping!
Free Regular Airmail shipping for orders starting with $200.00!

Free insurance (guaranteed reshipment if delivery failed) for orders starting with $300.00!

Generic Viagra (sildenafil citrate; brand names include: Aphrodil / Edegra / Erasmo / Penegra / Revatio / Supra / Zwagra) is an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction regardless of the cause or duration of the problem or the age of the patient.
Sildenafil Citrate is the active ingredient used to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence) in men. It can help men who have erectile dysfunction get and sustain an erection when they are sexually excited.
Generic Viagra is manufactured in accordance with World Health Organization standards and guidelines (WHO-GMP). Also you can find on our sites.
Generic [url=]buy generic viagra online in canada[/url] is made with thorough reverse engineering for the sildenafil citrate molecule - a totally different process of making sildenafil and its reaction. That is why it takes effect in 15 minutes compared to other drugs which take 30-40 minutes to take effect.
[b]no order prescription viagra
viagra sid web
Buy Genuine Viagra Online
Viagra Idoser
Viagra Pepsi
viagra for teens
natural viagra from safeway
Even in the most sexually liberated and self-satisfied of nations, many people still yearn to burn more, to feel ready for bedding no matter what the clock says and to desire their partner of 23 years as much as they did when their love was brand new.
The market is saturated with books on how to revive a flagging libido or spice up monotonous sex, and sex therapists say “lack of desire” is one of the most common complaints they hear from patients, particularly women.