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Results for "characteristics"
  • A Brief History of Terracotta

    Photography Courtesy of Shutterstock A unique clay that is celebrated for its rich, reddish orange hues, Terracotta has been used in sculptural art, architecture, and pottery for centuries by civilizations across the globe. Holding a prominent place in history, the material’s many modern uses include a diverse range of design…

  • A Closer Look at Linen

    Photography Courtesy of Shutterstock An age-old material made from the fibers of the flax plant, linen is a renewable resource regarded for its soft touch, smooth texture, strength, and durability. As one of the oldest textiles developed, linen can be traced back to ancient Egypt when it was often used…

  • Elements of Modernist Design

    The Eames House by Modernist Architects and Designers Charles and Ray Eames. Photography Courtesy of Shutterstock. Reinventing the relationship between space and aesthetics, the Modernist design style emerged at the turn of the 20th century as a celebration of composition and materiality achieved through transparency, technology, and efficiency. Guided by…

  • Exploring BIFMA Standards

    The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association is known as BIFMA, and its namesake furniture standards are widely known across the design industry, but little understood. The confusion primarily exists around what the organization is, and what its standards mean for the products being specified and purchased. BIFMA is not…

  • A Brief History of the Vienna Secession

    The Secession Building. Photography Courtesy of Shutterstock Like many styles in the late 19th through 20th centuries, the Vienna Secession was a rejection of the traditional conservative style that was prevalent throughout art, architecture, and design. Begun by notable artists and architects Gustav Klimt, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Koloman Moser, and…

  • Exploring Greek Revival Style

    Second Bank of the United States in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photography Courtesy of Shutterstock Inspired by the symmetry, simplicity, and proportions of ancient Athens temples, Greek Revival architecture became a dominant design style in the United States and Northern Europe during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Strong columns, gently…

  • Exploring the Influence of Buckminster Fuller

    The Geodesic Dome. Photography Courtesy of Shutterstock A renowned visionary celebrated for cross-disciplinary and pioneering projects produced during the 20th century, Richard Buckminster Fuller’s inventions, ingenuity, and ideologies hold a lasting influence on contemporary architecture and design. With an expansive portfolio of projects that covered and combined many fields—from architecture…

  • A History of Art Deco

    Photography Courtesy of Shutterstock. Art Deco was one of the most influential Western aesthetic movements of the twentieth century, particularly in France and the United States. Short for arts décoratifs, or decorative arts, Art Deco was named after the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts, which was held…

  • A Brief Overview of the Baroque Style

    Photography Courtesy of Shutterstock Characterized by an elaborately ornate and highly adorned aesthetic that aims to inspire a sense of awe, Baroque is an extravagant and complex style of art and architecture associated with grandeur and luxury. Evoking ethereality through the use of unexpected and dramatic contrasts, Baroque décor often…

  • An Overview of International Style

    The Willis Tower in Chicago. Photography courtesy of EQRoy/Shutterstock.com In the midst of chaos in the early- to mid-20th century, International Style emerged as a response by architects to societal issues that were plaguing Western countries. While design before the 20th century often took inspiration from previous styles and centered…

  • Elements of Victorian Style

    Photography Courtesy of Shuang Li/Shutterstock A style of decorative arts, interior design, architecture that emerged in the United Kingdom during the period of Queen Victoria’s reign from 1837 through 1901, the Victorian aesthetic is characterized by both ornamentation and orderliness. Encompassing a broad selection of designs that surfaced during the…

  • Characteristics of Mediterranean Style

    When looked at individually, the nearly two dozen countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia that surround the Mediterranean Sea have wildly different design histories and aesthetics. However, as Mediterranean style began to gain popularity in North America from 1918 to 1940, designers and architects pulled inspiration from elements that were…

  • Exploring Elements of Midcentury Modernism

    The Wassily Chair by Marcel Breuer. Photography Courtesy of Knoll. Midcentury Modernism is generally defined as a design style that spread through the United States and Western Europe from the late 1930s to early 1960s, although it saw the most prevalence from around 1945 to 1955. However, since it pulled…

  • A Primer on Cleanability for High-Touch Surfaces

    Photography Courtesy of United FabricsExplore Materials and Sample Before 2020, only specialists needed to know the ins and outs of cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Now it is more important than ever before. The surfaces that we touch frequently in indoor spaces can harbor harmful microbes and toxins, turning them into…

  • Exploring Encaustic Tile

    Photography Courtesy of Ann Sacks Boasting bold patterns that appear inlaid, encaustic tiles are made using multiple colors of clay through methods first conceived centuries ago. “The encaustic tile represents a part of history in the design world,” says Erica Puccio of TileBar. “The combination of multiple color patterns is…

  • An Overview of the Arts and Crafts Movement

    Larkspur by William Morris (1834-1896). Photography Courtesy of The Met Museum/Shutterstock.com The Arts and Crafts movement is a historical style of design that began in the United Kingdom around the 1860s before expanding into the United States around 1890. Based on the philosophies of A.W.N. Pugin and John Ruskin, the…

  • An Exploration of Pleats as an Expressive Interior Element

    Photography Courtesy of Shutterstock A material embellishment embraced for its ability to infuse volume, texture, and dimension, pleats are an expressive element of design that hold a long history. The traditional techniques used to create this age-old motif can be traced back to ancient Egypt, and pleats have been reinterpreted…

  • The Lasting Legacy of Walter Gropius and the Bauhaus Style

    Known as the mind behind the Bauhaus and its innovative approach to art education, the influence of Walter Gropius has shaped the history of Modernist architecture and design throughout Europe and the United States. Despite only managing to stay open between 1919 and 1932—at which point it closed under duress…

  • A Brief History of Leather

    Photography Courtesy of Cortina LeathersExplore Materials and Sample A time-honored testament to material ingenuity, leather has served as an enduring element of design history. With an array of advantages that were first discovered in prehistoric times, leather’s aesthetics and applications have evolved and expanded over the years as a result…

  • A Brief History of Tibetan Rugs

    Photography Courtesy of Napoleonka/Shutterstock.com Since they were introduced to the West in the 1970s, Tibetan wool rugs have been admired for their texture, colors, and patterns. But how did they become a popular import, and how do they differ from other hand-knotted rugs? The history of Tibetan rugs is uncertain.…

  • An Overview of Wood Block Printing

    Photography Courtesy of Kattiya.L/Shutterstock.com Wood block printing onto fabric has been a main staple of Indian culture and commerce for the last 2,000 years. Although today there are mechanical means, such as screen printing, which are able to mimic the appearance of traditional block printing—some not only echoing the motifs,…

  • The Influence of Designer Gio Ponti

    The Superleggera Chair. Photography Courtesy of Tom Pilston/The Independent/Shutterstock. Giovanni Ponti was an architect, designer, exhibition organizer, and editor who is widely thought to be one of the major influences of the 20th century. His most famous works include the Superleggera chair, the Littoria Tower—which is now known as the…

  • A Brief History of Matelassé Fabrics

    Photography Courtesy of Fabric InnovationsExplore Materials and Sample A dexterously double-woven fabric that first gained popularity during the 18th century, matelassé materials mimic the dimensional designs of handcrafted quilts made in the south of France. The figured fabrics feature a weave that is distinctly designed to imitate the intricacies of…

  • Types of Timber: A Comparison Between Hardwood and Softwood

    Diverse design projects often demand different types of timber. An awareness of the distinctions between various species can help to determine material selections that will best suit certain design needs. While it is well-understood that wood is often classified into two categories—hardwood and softwood—the driving differences between these two classifications…

  • A Summary of Sintered Stone

    Photography Courtesy of Porcelanosa Sintered stones are expertly engineered with high-performance properties to provide exceptionally strong and stable surfaces. An innovative manmade material that can be used across an array of interior applications—from flooring and wall surfaces to countertops and cabinetry—sintered stone is turned to for its supremely strong performance…