23. Modern Architecture and Design

In the modern period, perhaps more than in any other, progressive ideas have cross-fertilized between the fine and applied arts. The roots of this tendency can be seen in Art Nouveau and in the Arts and Crafts tradition of nineteenth-century England, and it came to fruition in De Stijl, the Bauhaus and their influence.

In the twentieth century, more than ever before, architects and designers have sought to make creations that stand as artistic statements, while, equally, fine artists have aspired to extend their practice to influence the whole environment, physical and conceptual, in which we live. Buildings and interiors have become artworks, while paintings and sculptures have tended to become 'environmental'. Thus artists such as Mondrian, Balla, Schwitters or Dubuffet have created total artistic habitats from their art. Others, such as Max Bill or van Doesburg, have practiced architecture and design alongside their painting. Such a state of affairs, however, has made for controversy. Art as 'total experience' has had its opponents, while architecture as 'artistic statement' has frequently been found an arrogant imposition on its users (see Janus). And there may yet be lessons to be learned from the traditional buildings of Africa or the spontaneous environmental art of graffiti.

Hector Guimard
Movable Steel Bridges
Historical Survey: Draw, Bascule, Lift and Swing Bridges
Theo van Doesburg
New Aesthetics for a New World
The Rietveld Schroeder House
Restoration of a De Stijl Interior and Exterior
El Lissitzky
Constructivist of the Russian Avant-Garde
The Bauhaus
Its Impact on the World of Design
The Man with Modern Nerves
Adolf Loos, Pioneer Architect
Homage to Humanity
The Grande Arche in Paris and its Architect
Larsen - Light - Now
An Architect's Style and Approach
An Affirmation of Life
The Architecture of Moriyama
The Seasons
Four Journeys into Raili and Reima Pietilä's Architecture