What are the characteristics of modern design

Learn about Brazil’s contemporary design - Project Raiz
Learn about Brazil’s contemporary design
September 20, 2019
Furniture design in Brazil
Brazilian Modernism: Furniture design in Brazil
October 22, 2019
What are the characteristics of modern design

The mass production and mechanization of labor caused by the industrial revolution created a necessity and an incentivated the artisanal production, especially in furniture and the textile industry.

Modern Design: made by the people and for the people


From 1880 to 1917, the English Arts and Crafts movement, through its leader William Morris, came to defend an art “made by the people and for the people.” The act of revaluing manual labor and restoring the aesthetic value of objects created for everyday use would eventually become what we know as ‘design’. 

The differentiation of design work between the design manager in the industry and the artisan with an ancient tradition becomes evident. This paradigm shift in production has been so contrasting that even today, it is controversial to consider an artisan a type of designer.

Specialized production of modern furniture in Brazil

Specialized production of modern furniture in Brazil spread throughout the 50s, as modern architecture consolidated, in a process that would culminate in the construction of Brasilia.

Design gained much more space in the Latin American countries during the 90s and 2000s. Also influenced by the internet and the evolution of technology, the aesthetic value is today in all objects, even electronic devices and appliances, which have combined functionality with visual aspect.

Modern furniture in Brazil modern design is one of the most democratic

Mass reproduction of artist-signed pieces has become a feature of today’s design. The modern design is one of the most democratic. Fits all types of environment, it’s great for the little ones, but works perfectly in larger spaces where it can shows all its strength.

Modern style is also a return to the basics and therefore values the use of everyday or natural materials, avoiding overly elaborate components. The stars here are glass, leather, cement, natural fibers, untreated woods, and especially metals, which are widely used in modernist decor, from chandeliers to furniture.

Modern design and the use of unusual materials

The use of unusual materials such as water hoses, springs and even stuffed animals are also explored in the composition of many pieces. Unlike the excessive use of curves and refinements of the previous era, the modern style of decoration gives importance to the aesthetic pattern of straight horizontal and vertical lines, with cabinets, furniture and straight windows. 

Apparent well-defined lines help build scenarios of balance and harmony where each part performs its function without causing confusion or drawing too much attention to itself. The contemporary style, which is often confused with the modernist, places more emphasis on curves and textured surfaces.

Design is a key determinant of business success

Especially in markets where consumers are increasingly attentive to fashion and furniture. Designers have to establish specific capabilities to recognize these trends. Trend research is vital to the manufacturing industry as an integral part of innovation and modern design processes.

Objects and furniture that have identities for their users arouse personal needs, the satisfaction of aesthetic needs is not necessary for the physical existence of the human being, but for psychic satisfaction. The much more symbolic than useful function becomes very present in modern design.

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