Modern furniture

Modern furniture

Modern furniture refers to furniture produced from the late 19th century through the present that is influenced by modernism. Cutting excess, commodification, and practicality of materials in design heavily influenced the aesthetic of the furniture. It was a tremendous departure from all furniture design that had gone before it. There was an opposition to the decorative arts, which included Art Nouveau, Neoclassical, and Victorian styles. Dark or gilded carved wood and richly patterned fabrics from the gave way to the glittering simplicity and geometry of polished metal. The forms of furniture evolved from visually heavy to visually light. This shift from decorative to minimalist principles of design can be attributed to the introduction of new technology, changes in philosophy, and the influences of the principles of architecture. As Philip Johnson, the founder of the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art articulates:

“Today industrial design is functionally motivated and follows the same principles as modern architecture: machine-like simplicity, smoothness of surface, avoidance of ornament…. It is perhaps the most fundamental contrast between the two periods of design that in 1900 the Decorative Arts possessed…”

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