Design History Workshop Overviews

Euro-American MidCentury

Textile- Florence Knoll, Table - Eero Saarinen, Chairs - Harry Bertoia

Mid-century modern is a term that describes mid–20th century developments for interior, product, graphics, architecture and urban development from roughly 1933 to 1963. The term, employed as a style descriptor as early as the mid-1950s, was reaffirmed in 1983 by Cara Greenberg in the title of her book, Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s (Random House), celebrating the style that is now recognized by scholars and museums worldwide as a significant design movement.

Americas MidCentury Modern History

Chair - Jose Zanine Caldas, Textile - South American, Designer unknown

Today's influx of clean modern design is primarily global in nature.  Strong influences of Europe affected not only the North American sensibility but also South American designers. South America's sensibilities became very influential, characterized by their architecture which profiled clean simplicity and an integration with nature.

Brazilian Design: Commencing in the 1940s and '50s, a group of architects and designers transformed the local cultural landscape, merging the modernist vernacular popular in Europe and the United States with traditional Brazilian techniques and indigenous materials. Vivid energy, the natural resource of South American woods and spectacular landscapes mark South American modernist design and differentiate it from American design. To this day, those influences continue to reverberate in American architecture, interiors and furniture.

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