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‘A New Order is Being Created’: Domestic Modernism in 1930s Britain

‘A New Order is Being Created’: Domestic Modernism in 1930s Britain <jats:p> This article addresses the attempts in Britain in the 1930s to integrate modernist aesthetics with the home. A number of initiatives during this period were directed towards improving both standards of living and the public's taste: arising from exposure to continental modernism (Adolf Loos, Le Corbusier) and with a fervent belief in the democratisation of the living space, innovators such as Wells Coates, Jack and Molly Pritchard, and Maxwell Fry sought to re-invent the home for the twentieth century. The results were often short-lived, and in some cases, abject failures. Yet the negotiations that these designers, architects, and visionaries made between high-minded aesthetics and the practicalities of quotidian British life reveal much about standards of taste during the 1930s. This article takes two case studies in detail: The Lawn Road Flats – the Isokon Building – in Hampstead, London, and the activities of the Design and Industries Association (DIA). In doing so, I chart the ways in which interior design developed in Britain during the decade before the outbreak of World War Two, and explore how small-scale, short-lived activities in this period laid the foundations for a flowering of new modes of living post-1945. </jats:p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modernist Cultures Edinburgh University Press

‘A New Order is Being Created’: Domestic Modernism in 1930s Britain

Modernist Cultures , Volume 11 (3): 409 – Nov 1, 2016

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press 2016
Subject
Articles; Film, Media and Cultural Studies
ISSN
2041-1022
eISSN
1753-8629
DOI
10.3366/mod.2016.0148
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:p> This article addresses the attempts in Britain in the 1930s to integrate modernist aesthetics with the home. A number of initiatives during this period were directed towards improving both standards of living and the public's taste: arising from exposure to continental modernism (Adolf Loos, Le Corbusier) and with a fervent belief in the democratisation of the living space, innovators such as Wells Coates, Jack and Molly Pritchard, and Maxwell Fry sought to re-invent the home for the twentieth century. The results were often short-lived, and in some cases, abject failures. Yet the negotiations that these designers, architects, and visionaries made between high-minded aesthetics and the practicalities of quotidian British life reveal much about standards of taste during the 1930s. This article takes two case studies in detail: The Lawn Road Flats – the Isokon Building – in Hampstead, London, and the activities of the Design and Industries Association (DIA). In doing so, I chart the ways in which interior design developed in Britain during the decade before the outbreak of World War Two, and explore how small-scale, short-lived activities in this period laid the foundations for a flowering of new modes of living post-1945. </jats:p>

Journal

Modernist CulturesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Nov 1, 2016

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