In the late 1800’s America, was trying to make a name for itself. We began associating our self with the word modern. Designers, such as, Mckim mead and White and Louis Sullivan began toying with ideas like heightening the skyline decorative exteriors, and masonry. The use of straight lines and bold colors began to be a trend during this time.
One of the most acclaimed designers during this time was Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright began to make a bold statement in his architecture by using dramatic lines. A lot of his designs had Scandinavian influences. The world fair was a away for different countries to showcase their latest designs and ideas. Before the world fair the appearance of different countries was not as relevant in the design world because people did not travel as often. The world fair brought the ideas of multiple countries to one place at one time. The idea of straight lines and bold colors was a common idea in Scandinavian design. Wright took advantage of these. You can see it greatly in his most famous design, Fallingwater. Fallingwater water was built on a side of a mountain right above a river. The idea of the house being built into the landscape is an understatement. The house is built around the side of the mountain. For example, a rock that is on the side of the mountain is used as a piece of the floor instead of being removed. The use of iron and glass in the house shows the influence from the world fair. Fallingwater resembles the crystal palace that was built entirely our of steel and glass. Wright not only made a bold statement in his architecture but also in his private life. America is famous for the deceit and affairs within the corporate world. Wright was no stranger to these things as well.
At the same time the art deco movement was going on around the world. The art deco did not really spark from anything, but was more design without precedent. The many names for this Art Deco period show the relevance of it throughout the world. The Art Deco world strayed away from the bone like structure with just glass and steel. The Art Deco added the skin to architecture. They also liked the appearance of curvilinear shapes, not rectilinear. The designers liked fluidity and connectivity. In Antonio Guadi’s design of Casa Mila, he demonstrated the use of curves very well. The out side of the building looks as if it is a layer of skin draped on top of a steel skeleton structure.
From there we transition back into straight lines and glass. Designers also began to use the height of the sky to their advantage. The realized that with the technology that they had they were able to create large buildings in a small amount of space. For example, The Seagram building in New York City stacks glass boxes on top of each other. They begin larger on the top and start to get smaller on the top. These buildings also use the ideas from the Grecians of the porch court and hearth. The outside of the building is the area in which the guests enter and are received. They are then welcomed into the court, which is usually the reception area of the building, which they are then directed into the hearth of the building. The hearth of the building would be the private office areas towards the top of the building.
Now that the American public is more concerned about their wealth and outward appearance, homemakers begin to design their homes. This is the birth of interior decorating. It begins as hobby but then turns into a profession. The media highly influences design at this time because the socialites within the city begin to showcase their work in popular magazines and newspapers that are see throughout the United States. Media also begins to show off different architecture that is now seen throughout the country. The problem with media so highly influencing design is that sometimes it is not translated correctly. This begins somewhat of a design flurry throughout the world with different design languages mashed together. Media turns into the modern version of world fairs. Due to technology it becomes easier to share different designs.