jugendstil // DESIGN HISTORY

Happy 2017!  We took a few weeks off to make some changes to the blog.  Now we are back and ready to take a look at the Jugendstil movement, another off-shoot of Art Nouveau, this time with a focus in Germany.

The movement mainly centered around the Darmstadt Artists’ Colony started by 1899 by Ernest Ludwig, the Grand Duke of Hesse.  Ludwig was looking for a way to promote economic development and trade on his land in Mathildenhöhe so he invited artists to live, create products and design their own homes.  Its main artist resident was Peter Behrens, who went on to become one of Germany’s main commercial designers.  Other artists included Rudolf Bosselt, Paul Bürck, Hans Christiansen and Patriz Huber.  Much like the other Art Noveau movements, Jugendstil represented the aesthetic of Germany at that time, which was industrial and work-centric but more influenced by designs of the past than the other Art Nouveau movements which aimed to create unique designs not seen before (whether or not they succeeded is a different question altogether).


Peter Behren’s Arc Lamp + Elena Salmistraro’s Seletti Lamps

Behrens’ Arc Lamp was inspired by the shapes of Ancient Etruscan vases.These modern vases were inspired by paintings of vessels by Giorgio Morandi.In both cases, the new piece does not mimic the original but was clearly inspired by it.


Behren’s AEG Factory + Facebook HQ

Facebook’s newly built headquarters features open workstations with no walls or dividers, where all staff works regardless of rank.  The ceiling structure is exposed to evoke the company’s ethos of openness.It also includes “fun” design elements such as a ball pit in a conference room. This design principle is similar to Behrens’ AEG factory which was designed for function above all else and was designed to transform everyday work into a dignified existence.


Jugendstil + Fort Makers

Fort Makers is an artist collective that makes functional and interactive art and a variety of fashion and home products.  All of their pieces are made with the principle “To create a three-dimensional and immersive, visual world, or rather, an artistic brand,” an expansion of the Darmstadt Artist Colony’s “Development of modern and forward-looking forms of construction and living.”

Much like the Arts & Crafts Movement, Art Nouveau was an international style that had distinct movements in several countries including France/Belgium, Vienna and Scotland.


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