Modernism Seeds: From Dada to Discursive Design

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Architecture and design are some of the most evolutionary areas of human development. Analysis of modernism movements in architectural designs from Dada’s Marcel Duchamp and DeStijl’s Mondrian and Gerrit Rievelt concentrated usually on idealism in architecture, rather than objectivism which characterized preceding design approaches. Consequently, the modern actions appeared to stress the ideals of functionalists ideologies in developing building designs, especially at some point of the 19th century and later informing the design procedures of the subsequent century. 1880-1930 saw the modernism evolution to the onset of organic plan which marked the beginning of post-modern movements. This report discusses the key tenets of the seeds of modernism from Dada to the discursive design movements. The essence of remarkable improvements achieved during this period is linked to improvements in technology and humans creativity. Cruickshank, for instance, observes that _x0091_modernism ideology in the 1920s tended to express the emotional relations between style and appeal by focusing entirely on form and function_x0092_ (Cruickshank 66). The modernist’s ideologies permeated beyond mere buildings to influence other aspects of art such as landscape designs, theatre, and dance, interior designs, etc.

The modernism movement (1880-1940) was characterized by designers who had very realistic views about what design involved and entailed. Relying entirely on the available technology, they determined to render the old styles obsolete. For instance, the famous post-modernist designer, Le Corbusier believed that buildings needed to function as _x0091_machines in which people live_x0092_ (Figgis 4) just as the cars, which Le Corbusier viewed as machines in which people traveled. Just as the cars had replaced the horses and attention was accorded to form rather than structure, so did modernists_x0092_ designers reject the old styles of the Middle Ages. Consequently, notable rejection of the decorative motifs which characterized the Greco-Roman designs of the middle ages was evident in the modernists_x0092_ designs in favour of material and pure geometric forms. Parametricism ruled the ideological reasoning behind the creation of modernist designs. According to Schumacher, quoted by Meade, _x0091_parametricism sought to organize and articulate the complexity and diversity of the social institutions, as well as the life processes (4).
The futurism movement (1910-1945) changed the dimensions of art and design significantly by influencing the manner in which history and anticipation of the future influenced creativity in art and design. Westwood (21) referred to the futurism period as a _x0091_forward thinking_x0092_ era of design. The major contributors to the development of the futurism movement included Marinetti whose works inspired the topographical arrangements in building designs constructed in this era. The futurism movement developed alongside the Art Deco movement (1910-1940) which became popular only in around 1920-1939. The Art Deco movement shaped, mainly the interior decorations and designs to improve beauty and aesthetics accompanying the pleasure of home dwellings. It fused different styles all in single decoration to evoke different emotions for home characteristics. This movement was influenced largely by other movements such a cubism, modernism, constructivism, Bauhaus, etc. whose emotional effects, it reflected in both buildings and interior art designs.

The surrealism movement (1925-1930) is another recognized movement that occurred during the phase Dada to discursive designs and was influenced greatly by cultural realizations and cultural movements which began pronouncedly in the mid-1920s. The core concern of this movement was to revolutionize the human experiences about art and design by inflicting the feelings of reverence to culture, politics and social aspects of the human society (Koufou 143). The logics of surrealism movement was informed by the notion that objects did not actually conform acutely to their normality. For these reasons, the surrealist designers believed that the each housing or art design had to not only impress but also surprise, excite and intrigue the users. For the surrealists, the unexpected was often expected in terms of art and design. That is what instigated surprise, excitement, and intrigue in the users and consumers of art and design objects (Meade 4). This movement created the discursive design movement in which the designs were made with the user_x0092_s feelings, emotions and expectations in mind. The subsequent discursive movements focused largely on the object, aesthetics and the emotions.
To conclude, the art and design field is one of the most dynamic of all centuries. Art borrows largely on emotions and taste. The timelines in the evolution of modernism, traced from Dada to Discursive Design covers a wide array of objects in different periods. The design movements from Dada to Discursive Design can be divided into different phases within the timeline from 1800 to 1930. The various movements in-between this period all complemented one another to translate into the present developments in the fields of art and design. The evolution from mere formalism to discursive designs shows how the design field has evolved to focus on users rather than a mere emulation of past approaches and designs.

Works Cited
Cruickshank, Leon. Open Design and Innovation: facilitating creativity in everyone. Gower Publishing, Ltd., 2014.
Figgis, Laurence. “On the Emotional Appeal of the Inorganic.” (2013).
Koufou, Angeliki. “Art Movements in the 1960s and the Debate about Modernity.” Historien 9 (2009): 140-148. Print.
Marcoci, Roxana, and Geoffrey Batchen. The original copy: photography of sculpture, 1839 to today. The Museum of Modern Art, 2010.
Meade, Dora. “Critical Theory and Discursive Designs.” A Journal of Critical Theory and Practice 1.1 (n.d.): 1-8. Print.
Westwood, Samantha. “The Influence of Modernism and Postmodernism on Graphic Design.” The Student Researcher 2.2 (2013): 19-23. Print.

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