Design In A Nutshell- Modernism, American Industrial Design and Postmodernism

“Modernism emerged from a disillusionment with history after the World War and spanned every corner of creative expression, from art (e.g., Agnes Martin) to music (e.g., John Cage) to design (e.g., Charles and Ray Eames), becoming the single most influential creative movement of the 20th century.” Modernism is probably the most well known movement within the arts, perhaps due to Picasso and the pieces he produced during this time. I also think it is so renown as like it says in the video, it wasn’t just a change to do with arts, it effected all things within the creative world so the alterations made were visible in things like films, architecture, literature, poetry and music too! Before watching the video, I did not know that this was the “ism” era so to speak, with cubism and realism to name a few being created during this time. Personally, I wasn’t as fond of this video as the others, as it was a lot more general and non specific, and felt more history orientated as it included lots of references to people who had influenced the creation of Modernism.

The fifth video of the series started with a caption above it saying:

“After The Great Depression erased consumer demand, American industrial design set to out rebuild the world of tomorrow and reignite people’s appreciation for objects by making things that previously didn’t need to appear attractive now sleek and desirable, effectively bridging form and function and ushering in The Century of the Self“.

In the video itself it says “American Industrial Design improved America, functionally, culturally and intellectually and exported it around the globe”. From this statement alone I think it would be hard to argue otherwise and think that the introduction of American Industrial Design was anything but a good thing. It sounded more familiar to me with the type of advertising and products that are around today, particularly the ones where it Is not just a product that is being sold, it Is the whole lifestyle that people desire to have which goes with it. I liked this video as it was clear, easy to understand and had a little bit of humour too to add to it and make it more memorable.

Finally, the last video I watched was about Postmodernism. To me, the video made Postmodernism sound a bit cynical and like it was to do with people who just wanted to have a go at and criticise the modernism era. I am all for questioning and breaking boundaries however, I don’t think you should be excessively negative about it and just change things for the sake of changing them, which is the kind of vibe I got from this video.

The caption for this video says “Postmodernism criticized modernism for having failed at reinvigorating society and set out to transform culture politically, philosophically, and creatively, pushing society to question why things are the way they are“.

As I am a neat and organised person, I like things to be colour co-ordinated and match, whereas the idea of having a road as described in the video with all different types of architecture and mixed looks isn’t my cup of tea. I do think the video did a good job of describing the era though, it did impress me.

Overall I have found watching all these videos helpful with regards to increasing my knowledge and learning about the different eras to do with design in a slightly different way to which I would usually and I am ready to impress people know with my newly gained intelligence!



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