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The Principle of the Modernism in the 20th Century

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After the First World War, modernism has evolved in order to defeat instable social environment including unemployment, poverty, and depression. After that, as the world became a society for people, ways to make many products with less money has been looked for and the industry was standardized for the public. Also, development in engineering allowed mass production, and many products have become popular. Criteria to choose the right product and interest for those products emerged from consumers.

The principle of the modernism in the 20th century which was most influential on consumers' culture principles seems to be the customers' standards and wills to buy products. We are living today, the modern society. This means that we do not have direct experiences of the past, though we may know the history. Today, we can choose and purchase what we need right away, but in old days, people had to for work days or even weeks to make simple clothes. When they needed a stylish dress, they had to pay enormous amount of money as they needed expensive fabrics, materials and talented designers. This explains that the poor had to live for years with only one or two simple wears. As shown in the movie ‘Coco before Chanel’ one hat could reveal their dignity and social status. ‘One couldn’t afford to buy the old, expensive handicraft furniture. At the same time technical developments had made it possible to product simplified, standardized industrial furniture at a reasonable price’ (Modernism Scandinavian Furniture, 1963 p44) The modernism movement started as a way to bridge the gap between the poor and the rich therefore they began to produce inexpensive and reasonable products for the general public, not just for the privileged few. Also, in this period, functionality and efficient design without decoration and manifestation gets to be loved. It's because the product which was convenient and useful in living was loved much than the one with an esthetic element. Thanks to this, design gets simpler and material gets diversified. New materials such as iron, glass, plastics for example, gets implemented from existing stone or wood which had been used. These various changes were sufficient to satisfy the purchasing desire of consumers. As an aftereffect, volume production started and companies tried to make products for the public continuously. ‘Consumer culture identifies freedom with private choice and private life’ (consumer culture & modernity, 1997 p27) .As a result, consumers could meet various products and selection criteria started to be formed for buyers to directly choose products.  

Anywhere and anytime we are bound to encounter the same experiences and have different feedback to them. Therefore, even if different designers from different countries are effected the same way, they would inevitably have different styles. “A continual process of purification … to cut down to the simplest possible elements of four legs, a seat and combined top rail and armrest” (Hans J. Wegner) I believe that it’s the answer to Scandinavia style. Certainly, it’s the practical use of design which resigns the unnecessary decorations and functions. Therefore, its suitable words would be ‘simple’ and ‘basic’. He had the instinct to combine both human being and nature together, which laid emphasis on his chairs. The result, among all his works, wood textures were most significant material used. In spite of different designs, they all looked comfortable and make me want sit on his chair. Therefore, when I look at his pieces, it seemed that he considered creating them with a great interest of living style and recognition of usefulness. Although we wouldn’t say the word



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