14 December 2016

Industrial Desing - Part 1

Vivimos rodeados de objetos que nos condicionan no sólo la estética de la vida cotidiana, sino cada vez más nuestra forma de pensar y de actuar. Estos objetos son frutos del Diseño Industrial, que enmarcan el que hacer cotidiano y tienen como objetivo hacer la vida más cómoda y placentera.

We live surrounded by objects that influence us not only on the aesthetics of everyday life, but also more and more on our way of thinking and acting. These objects are the result of the Industrial Design that affect everyday life and have as main objective making life more comfortable and pleasant.


With the industrial revolution (1760-1830), born in England by systematically introducing the steam engine into production process, the mechanization of work begins, that is, the replacement of manual job by the work of the machine. A new production system is established (industrial production) breaking the current scheme.

The history of industrial design born beyond 1800, and more specifically we took as starting point the Great International Exhibition of London in 1851 (Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations, 1851), the first exhibition where industrial products were presented to the general public.

Gran Exposición Internacional, Crystal Palace, London 1851

Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations. Crystal Palace, London 1851

The expression “Industrial Design” is linked to the conception of objects to be produced by industrial and mechanical means (with the prevailing participation of the machine and minimal intervention of the man), which allows the repetitiveness of the product, as well as its trustworthiness.

The process of preconception is a key aspect in industrial production since it is impossible to produce industrially an object without having accurately defined its physical and production characteristics before.

The Industrial Revolution in the manufacture of furniture

LThe production of furniture was exclusively handmade until the famous Industrial Revolution, around the year 1760. The manufacture of handcrafted furniture required not only good skills but also hard physical work. The artisans made their work on request, and in society they occupied a very important place because of the relevance of the task that they used to make. As time passed, due to the appearance of large factories, these craftsmen were transformed into operators.

It was at the Great International Exhibition, when Michael Thonet (1796-1871), a craftsman and cabinetmaker presented his creations and because of that he received a medal for innovator. On the contrary to solid furniture, Thonet contemplates the practical advantages of the refinement and the lightness, and at the same time the essential need of comfort. Developing this concept he conceives its products. The Industrial Revolution was at its peak and Thonet went from crafts to industrial production. Its original and quality products transformed the furniture concept of its time achieving universal fame. For example, the chair Thonet # 14, removable in five pieces, was ideal to store and facilitate its transport, what contributed to the increase of its sales.

Silla Thonet Nº 14 (1)

Thonet chair Nº 14

What we can call the great epoch of Thonet ends in 1914, when the First World War began, until then, he had produced 50 million chairs.


The Arts and Crafts movement born in England in the second half of the 19th Century as an ideological reaction to the consequences of nascent industrialization in the field of the production of objects, tried to reestablish crafts and improve the quality of design in Victorian England, and decisively influenced all English craft production from 1860 until the arrival of Art Nouveau, in part, heir of Arts and Crafts movement.

Silla Hill House. Charles R. Mackintosh

Chair Hill House. Charles R. Mackintosh. 1902


With the generic name of Art Nouveau it is known a style within the field of design, art and architecture, characteristic of the last decade of the nineteenth century and the first years of the twentieth century, which was developed throughout Europe and America, although with distinctive local features; In Germany it was called "Jugendstil", in England "Modern Style", in Austria "Secession", in Italy "Liberty" or "Floreal", in Scotland "Glasgow Style" and in Belgium and France "Art Nouveau" in Barcelona "Modernismo”. This style, that rejected the return to the past, was characterized by a rich linear vocabulary, straight lines, sinuous or wavy curves that often ended in an energetic whip stroke; lines and intertwined vegetable forms play a dominant role in plan and space, and in general there are no breakups.

Biombo en madera de roble y cristal rosa Antoni Gaudí

Antoni Gaudí. Casa Milá 1909.



The movement that took shape in Holland in the second half of the 1910s is called De Stijl, and covered the field of arts, architecture and design. The name of the movement comes from a periodic publication, De Stijl (The style), founded in 1917 by the painters Theo Van Doesburg (1883-1931) and Piet Mondrian (1872-1944), with the cooperation of a group of architects, the sculptor Georges Van Tongerloo and the poet Anthony Kok, to whom soon joined the architects Gerrit T. Rietveld (1888-1964) and Cor Van Eesteren, and the filmmaker H. Richter. The title of the publication became the name of the movement.

Silla Red and Blue

Chair Red and Blue. Gerrit Rietveld 1926/27

The aesthetics of De Stijl celebrates the machine and rational control of the creative process. It proclaims a collection of "pure" forms, that is to say, of forms born of a drastic reductionism; a limited number of figures (only squares and rectangles), bodies (only parallelepipeds) and colors (only fundamental ones).

In the field of design, the Dutch architect and cabinetmaker Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, a leading designer of furniture, characterized by the renounce of traditional methods of woodworking; no more assemblies, no glue, no edges or corners; the furniture consisted on flat boards on a structure of quadrangular strips, orthogonal between each other in structural and screwed knots, the material (wood) disguised by painting; the furniture acquires category of sculpture (abstract sculpture)


Whereas the Art Nouveau was invested with its sinuous and serpentine lines, in the first decade of the twentieth Century, Art Déco will start working on the design of furniture, household appliances, transport and media, such as cinemas and later on, on the radio, using straight lines, and geometric and compact shapes.

The Art Déco style as such, explains a set of different aesthetic manifestations that came together after the Universal Exhibition 1900 of Paris, when several French artists formed a formal group dedicated to the avant-garde decorative arts. In 1925 they organized the Exposition Internationale de Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, where they made public the new trends of this movement.

The influences of Art Déco come from constructivism, cubism, futurism and Art Nouveau itself, from which Art Déco will develop itself. As style of the machine age , it used the innovations of the times for its forms: aerodynamic lines, modern aviation product, electric lighting, the radio, ocean bed and skyscrapers.

Aparador Romeo

Aparador Romeo



Read 2287 times Last modified on Wednesday, 14 December 2016 16:19

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