Today, we are very lax about the use of the word modern. In popular usage, it is identical with what is current. It is synonymous with the term “contemporary.” This is not true with design. This can lead to confusion if you decide your office could benefit from the addition of modern office chairs.
Modern: A Purist’s Definition
The term modern in design indicates a specific era. It covers certain decades – specifically those from 1920 to 1950 (inclusive). Stylistically, it is not a singular movement. The Modern Era is one in which several, sometimes related styles, created their own motifs in art, literature and the practical arts such as furniture design and architecture. Some were and are quite distinct.
The various styles that come from this era include the following:
* Art Deco: This style found its expression during the decades of the 1920s and 1930s. It is dynamic. Paintings and the decorative arts came alive with triple-striped decorative elements and stark contrasts emerging with their use of black and white. In furniture designers exhibited a fondness for rounded corners and crisp clean symmetrical and rectilinear lines. Ornamentation was very subdues, almost classical, however, whatever shapes appeared tend to be geometric shapes. Common choices were chevrons, spheres and trapezoids. Using rich, unique and costly materials resulted in art deco appealing to and bought by the now wealthy manufacturing class and others who could afford luxury good.
* Bauhaus: This style is a product of the same era as Art Deco. Its routes lie with the German school. Its focus was on manufactured goods and products. The overall tone of the design was industrial. Office chairs from this period were purely functional produced with clean lines. Architecture and furniture all bore the distinct look of minimalism. Preference was also given to manufactured materials – part of their reaction against the craftsman school
* International Style: A style that lasted from 1932 to1980, this modern style began with strong industrial designs. It later softened but maintained a distinct lack of ornamentation as a principle identifying characteristic.
The Modern Era is a period of distinct styles. It is a time as well of radicalism. While office furniture was not a priority of many designers of the period, modern office chairs and other forms of seating did receive attention. In general, the focus was on form and function produced with the latest industrial materials
Modern Office Chairs
Today, the production of furniture designers and manufacturers embrace the latest in contemporary designs. They also manufacture items that can be called “Modern.” They also stick to the basic concepts established by Modern designers. They opt for simplicity and even elegance in design. Today, contemporary modern office chairs reflect their roots with their clean lines, functionality and modern materials.
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