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NOVA68.com is the leading modern design retailer on the web offering free shipping, lowest price match, exceptional service on all items. We specialize in modern lighting and contemporary lighting design including modern ceiling lamps, light fixtures, pendant lights, chandeliers, wall sconces, table lamps, desk lamps, outdoor lamps and floor lamps by Foscarini, O-Luce,
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How 'Modern Design' got its start; an overview by Lucia Fontana, editor-at-large at NOVA68:
Modern Design is a 'wide term'; it is often over-applied to everything from the earliest designs of the Bauhaus to
groundbreaking contemporary creations by new designers. So how did everything start? Let's take you back
to the late 19th century; yes...that far back! The movement that we now now as modern; grew from the flurry of art movements that followed the impressionist's new perception of painting such as the Art Nouveau movement (1890-1910) and the simultaneous currents of streamlined Art Deco, Art Moderne and Futurism. The origin of modern design and architecture can be traced to 1917 with the start of the "De Stijl" movement by Theo van Doesburg, Piet Mondrian and Gerrit Rietveld. In 1917, Gerrit Rietveld created his famous "Rietveld Red and Blue Chair" of which we offer a wonderful miniature version by Vitra. This would continue with the Rietveld Schr�der House; one of the most inspiring examples of De Stijl architecture which sought to express a new utopian ideal of minimalist order that would lead to spiritual harmony. Two years later, in 1919 to be exact, the visionary modernist Walter Gropius would found the Bauhaus. Fans of the Bauhaus will certainly appreciate our wonderful Bauhaus Chess Set designed by Josef Hartwig in 1924. The Bauhaus movement quickly became one of the most influential currents in the arts, architecture and modern design and provided a radical break with its predecessors. The first signs for a longing for a new style of modern architecture and design were eminent in the work by early modernist European architects and designers such as Marcel Breuer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Max Bill and Walter Gropius. Many of these early modernists believed that by rejecting tradition they could discover new ways of making minimalist works of modern architecture and design. Considered radicals in their time, these early modernists
constructed their architecture, art and design with mostly rigid lines and contours. Some of our favorite examples of this visionary modern architectural style include the Barcelona Pavilion (1929) and in later years the equally iconic Farnsworth House (1945-1951); both designed by Mies van der Rohe, Richard Neutra'sKaufmann Desert House (1946), Philip Johnson�s iconic Glass House (1949) and the exceptionally beautiful Eero Saarinen Miller House (1957). The Italian design magazine Domus, founded by the Italian architect/designer Gio Ponti in 1928, captured the spectacular rise of the modern movement in all its grandeur. In 1942, New York's The Museum of Modern Art held their landmark competition titled "Organic Design in Home Furnishings" for which Saarinen and Eames received the first prize with their Organic Chair. The unfortunate events of World War 2 that ensued during the following years would dampen creativity; at least for a while.
Barcelona Pavilion by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, 1929.
The Modern Design movement, also known as the mid-century modern design style, returned and truly blossomed in 1945 out of a general renewed feeling of post-war optimism. Architects, artists, designers and inventors jumped on the opportunity to create ambitious new projects in art, architecture, product design and urban planning. Charles Eames once famously said that 'recognizing the need, is the primary condition for design' and it was this believe that fueled the creative minds of the modernist movement. A renewed enthusiasm for the future could be seen in several iconic creations of modern design such as the launch of the magazine Arts and Architecture, the Case Study House Program with the rise of several American mid-century modern architects such as Charles and Ray Eames, Craig Ellwood, Eero Saarinen, Pierre Koenig, Raphael Soriano and Richard Neutra. New American designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson and Harry Bertoia revolutionized the possibilities in modern design by using new inventions and manufacturing techniques. In 1946, the husband and wife team of Charles and Ray Eames designed their legendary and boldly original "Eames Molded Plywood Chairs" which Time magazines called "The Best Design of the 20th Century". In 1955, Eero Saarinen created the Tulip Chair for Knoll. Although the chair was created a decennia before the Space Age design movement (1968-1972); it is often considered to be a stand-out space age design classic because of its fluid curves; obviously inspired by the space race competition between the US and the USSR (some famous examples include Sputnik 1, Vostok 1 and the Apollo missions). One year after the design of the Saarinen Tulip Chair; Charles and Ray Eames had another hit on their hands
with the Eames Lounge and Ottoman (1956); which would become one of the best selling Herman Miller icons. Other classic examples that symbolize the mid-century modern design movement include the ever popular Nelson Ball Clock (1947), the Mid-Century Modern Wall Lamp (1952), the Bertoia Side Chair (1952), the Willy Guhl Loop Chair (1954), Sori Yanagi's Butterfly Stool (1956), the Superleggera Chair (1957) & Pirelli Building (1955-59) both designed by Gio Ponti, and the Arco Lamp by Achille Castiglioni (1962). Eero Saarinen designed the sinuous TWA Terminal at JFK in 1962.
Loop Chair by Willy Guhl, 1954.
The chaotic and revolutionary 1960s instilled new ideas in an entire new generation of pioneering architects and designers.
While the American movement of modernism was busy revolutionizing 20th-century architecture and design, European designers were tending to their own revolution. Eero Aarnio created the space age Aarnio Ball Chair in 1966; perhaps the most remarkable design chair ever made with its sputnik-like space age design. In 1967, Verner Panton created the first-single molded plastic chair, the Panton Chair. It was immediately regarded as a sensation and is perhaps the most recognizable modern chair ever created. Italian designer Joe Colombo combined both form and function with his creation of the Boby Organizing Trolley (1968); often regarded as the best storage system for the business or home office. The early 1970s brought a new generation of architects and designers who would dramatically change the perception of modern furniture; partly due because of the 1973 oil crisis which brought an end to the reign of cheap oil. Frank Gehry designed his Wiggle Chair in 1972; an eco-friendly design made with 60 layers of cardboard. During the 1980s the Memphis Movement, under guidance of Ettore Sottsass, gave rise to a new form of international style with unique creations such as the First Chair, Tahiti Lamp and the Super Lamp. During the last years; a new wave of talented designers have provided a breath of fresh air to modern design. We at NOVA68 especially love Harry Allen's Bank in the Form of a Pig, the Mozart Voi Che Sapete musical box (actually it's a sphere), Enzo Mari's modern poster La Mela & La Pera and the Classic One table lamp by Holmegaard. This article was written by Lucia Fontana for NOVA68 Modern Design. We are happy that we can share our passion of modern design with you. We look forward to be your source for furniture, lighting and home accessories designed for the modern home. Live happy, Love Modern! Lucia � NOVA68 Modern Design.