Design Trends In Architecture Essay

2250 words - 9 pages

Design Trends In Architecture

The more things change, the more they stay the same. While art has always been an ever changing form, it has deep roots in traditionalism; whether an artist or designer looks at the art that came before him and is inspired to follow that form, is inspired to do something completely opposite, or sees the flaws which, if corrected, could make that work of art perfect, he is ultimately quite influenced by what came before him.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the design styles found not only in art, but in architecture and interior design. The twentieth century has been a time of great innovation, and yet, very few eras have seen so many stylistic revivals. The popularity of these classical styles has often superceded that of the more experimental, modern ideas, reinforcing the idea that aesthetic beauty is absolutely timeless.

The early 20th century saw a great deal of influence in terms of classical design. A classical revival had brought a return of emphasis on Palladian architectural motifs, which could be seen in large cities throughout the world, but especially in New York and Boston. In terms of interior design, Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman advocated a similar classical revival, which gave a sense of classical order to ornate interiors. (Severens, 85) Interior design at the turn of the century was very much concerned with aesthetics over simplicity, yet managed to maintain a sense of order and balance. Designers created interiors with a heavy reliance on French and Italian forms of furniture, floors, and panelling. This style, which was hugely successful, could be found in the work of interior designers over the next fifty years, and is the basis for much that is known as "traditional decorating" today. (Severens,88)

One of the most successful revivals is the revival of the Gothic style, which is still quite apparent in architecture and interior design today. During the eighteenth and nineteenth century, England began to realize the importance of the Middle Ages. "The Gothic past offered an acceptable, if inferior, option for study by educated gentlemen; and Gothic began to be an acceptable alternative for country houses" (Girouard, 180).
This was the Gothic Architecture Revival. As Gothic architecture became more popular, the style came up against stiff competition from Chinese architecture. In the end, Gothic architecture prevailed over Chinese architecture, because Gothic was native to England, therefore examples could be found all over England. Gothic architecture was probably one of the most important styles all over the world. The style could be found at one time or another in Austria, England, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the Mediterranean as well as the United States. Gothic architecture was born in Paris, France, but made its way to England sometime in the early 1170's. The Gothic style probably arrived in England because of contact with France (Grodecki, 99). In...

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