Mid-Century and Sunshine
It seems that against my best intentions of being a constant and regular blogger, I actually fit more into the category of intermittent and slack blogger. I guess it's not too late to change my ways! In Melbourne the season is changing and we are getting a very welcome dose of sunny days. As we are plotting and planning our next pop-up for December, I find the sunshine so uplifting, an inspiring force! I am pretty damn excited about our upcoming shop and the details will be revealed soon (as soon as we work them out!) In the meantime, I thought I'd post some inspiring images of sunny mid-century style.
Photo by RetroLand U.S.A Was it more fun in the sun during the 1950's? It looks like it! I guess no one bothered to worry about their skin back then either...
Photo by JoeInSouthernCA It would feel like summer all year round with this awesome indoor pool that pops with colour.
Photo by allerleirau Summer is on its way, along with all the great things that come with summer - like days at the beach, balmy evening drinking sessions, Christmas partys and holidays. Modern Times will also pop up again in Summer, so its all a lot to look forward to!
Robin Boyd Open Houses - A Melbourne Modernist.
The Robin Boyd Foundation will host an open day - Designs for Warrandyte – on 15th May, 2011. Six houses, designed for various arty types, including Boyd’s childhood home, will be open to visit. I think this will be a great opportunity to gain an insight into Boyd’s work, a visionary and leader in Melbourne’s Modern Architecture movement!
Photo by SkinnyDrummer
Take a look, inside the house and studios of sculptor and printmaker, Inge and Grahame King, designed by Robin Boyd in 1951.
Robin Boyd (1919- 1971) was one of the foremost proponents of the modernist movement in Australia. Boyd designed mostly residential projects and believed in the fundamentals of modernism; rejecting unnecessary decoration, believing in the importance of good design and utilizing inexpensive, functional and partially prefabricated materials. Boyd designed over 200 houses and was equally prolific as a writer, commentator, educator and public speaker. Boyd’s architecture responded to the local surroundings whilst combining the ideas of the modern movement - this style became known as the post-war Melbourne regional style. The Robin Boyd Foundation was established in 2005 and is operated from Walsh Street (Boyd’s family home since 1958). Lectures, open houses, seminars and events run by the foundation continue the work and spirit of Robin Boyd - increasing community awareness, understanding and participation in design.
What Is So Good About Modernism?
Modernism has laid the way for the minimalist clean lines and open plan living that is still the dominant style of new buildings and interiors today. Why have the ideas of modernism had such an enduring influence?
In the early 20th century there were sweeping changes in technology and society. With continuing industrialisation and the rise of a more liberal society - artists, designers and thinkers led the break away from the traditional ways of perceiving and participating in the world.
This radical chair by Gerrit Rietveld, the Red Blue Chair, 1917, discards all ornament, stripped back to the barest and most utilitarian form. It doesn't look too comfortable does it, but it was a pivotal design in the move towards more minimal, functional design. —Photo by William Cromar
The ornate decoration of the previous eras were seen as excessive and a waste of effort and material. Modernism was all about exploring new materials, simplifying forms and utilising production techniques whilst maintaining a high level of craftsmanship. Probably the most important ideal that made modernism so enduring is the idea that ‘form follows function’. The belief that true beauty would be determined by the rational use of materials, quality craftsmanship and keeping functionalism as a priority. The essential function and structure of a design dictated the shape, leading to the clean minimalistic style we still find so appealing. Industrial production also allowed a more ‘democratic’ access to well designed everyday objects. The Scandinavian designers reconciled the somewhat coldness of Bauhaus modernism with a more human, natural aesthetic. Due to the climate in this region and the emphasis on indoor life, they understood the importance of a warm and inviting interior and ensuring practicality and comfort within the home.
Not just for the designers but for most Scandinavian people, good design is considered an essential part of everyday life.
Hans Wegner took the same principle of stripping back a design to a pure form but created a warmer, more inviting design by using organic shapes and beautiful natural materials. Photo by - ninahale
Drawer and cupboard handles are designed to smoothly and seamlessly integrate rather than stand out ostentatiously. Sideboard and sofas are lifted off the ground on slimline legs to create an uninterrupted floor space. Natural materials are able to speak for themselves. Attention to detail in design and craftsmanship have made the designs not only stand the test of time aesthetically but also made them durable, allowing us to enjoy the same 50 year old pieces today. Whether it is the original pieces from the 50’s and 60’s that still look great in today’s interiors or the minimalistic architect designed interiors of today. Modernist design prevails today because it is beautiful and it makes sense.