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Results for "characteristics"
  • 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…

  • A Better Understanding of 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 the International Style

    The Willis Tower in Chicago. Photography courtesy of Shutterstock 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…

  • 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…

  • 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.…

  • The Influential Work of Designer Gio Ponti

    The Superleggera Chair. Photography Courtesy of Tom Pilston/The Independent/Shutterstock. Italian architect and designer Giovanni Ponti 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, the Pirelli Tower in Milan, and the Denver Art Museum.…

  • 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…

  • Architectural Ornamentations: Exploring Egg-and-Dart and Dentil Mouldings

    A classic architectural embellishment with a long lineage, decorative mouldings can be used to mask, contour, or enhance the seams of surfaces with an added flourish. Cutting a striking profile with prominent angles and sinuous curves, the traditional trimmings can create a cohesive and polished aesthetic. Adapted from elements of…

  • The Legacy of Limestone

    Limestone is lauded for its lasting durability and versatility. Maintaining an enduring material history, the nuanced natural stone has been utilized for millenniums in the making of many architectural masterpieces. Storied limestone structures situated around the world have stood the test of time, demonstrating the distinct advantages achieved with its application.…

  • The Acoustic, Aesthetic, and Environmental Advantages of Felt

    Photography Courtesy of Kirei Inherent advantages including durability and modularity make felt a versatile material that meets the design needs of a variety of interior settings. “Felt’s design power is threefold,” says John Stein, president and founder of Kirei. “It offers advantages of both color and tactile beauty, with the ability…

  • An Overview of Rubber Flooring

    Rubber is revered as an exceedingly ecologically friendly material equipped with a rare balance of function and form that is well-suited for use as resilient flooring. Naturally slip-proof and shock-absorbent, rubber’s range of recompenses include its extreme elasticity, strength, durability, and ease of maintenance, as well as a resistance to…

  • The Enduring Appeal of Kilims

    Characterized by captivating colors, graphic geometric patterns, and flatwoven forms, the kilim holds a vibrant history that spans centuries and reflects a rich compilation of cultural influences. The pileless, tapestry-woven rugs and textiles are regarded by many as a material representation of the crossroads between Eastern and Western cultures, .…