refers to furniture produced from the late 19th century through the present that is influenced by modern
ism. Post-World War II ideals of cutting excess, commodification, and practical
ity of materials
in design heavily influenced the aesthetic of the furniture. It was a tremendous departure from all furniture design that had gone before it. There was an opposition to the decorative arts, which included Art Nouveau, Neoclassical, and Victorian styles. Dark or gilded carved wood
and richly patterned fabrics gave way to the glittering simplicity and geometry of polished metal. The forms of furniture evolved from visually heavy to visually light. This shift from decorative to minimalist principles of design can be attributed to the introduction of new technology, changes in philosophy, and the influences of the principles of architecture. As Philip Johnson, the founder of the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art articulates:
"Today industrial design is functionally motivated and follows the same principles as modern architecture: machine-like simplicity, smoothness of surface, avoidance of ornament ... It is perhaps the most fundamental contrast between the two periods of design that in 1900 the Decorative Arts possessed ..."
With the machine aesthetic, modern furniture easily came to promote factory modules, which emphasized the time-managing, efficient ideals of the period. Modernist design was able to strip down decorative elements and focus on the design of the object in order to save time, money, material, and labour. The goal of modern design was to capture timeless beauty in spare precision.
Modern Simplicity Furniture: simple and clear, whether paint process or structure, design is relatively simple, full of vitality.