Designers of the 20th Century

The Best of 20th Century and earlier Designers and Manufacturers from around the world

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There are many different styles from the 20th Century that are incredibly popular, though Art Deco stands out even among these many styles. Originating in France just before World War I, this style really came into its own in the middle of the 20th Century. The freedom of expression that is associated with the Art Deco style leads to a variety of wildly different looks, colours, and uniquely designed desks that leave an impression. This design flourished by uniting a wide array of styles in a way that showed a clear "goal" of being modern. This vague goal results in  bold, surprising, and often times creating a memorable and fully functional office or writing desk that also served as a work of art. Able to blend bold colour combinations, geometry-inspired from Cubism, exotic Far East styles, and a hint of royal European craftsmanship, it's hard denying the combinations available.


The Term Mid century Modern

This is frequently misunderstood and is a broad term used to describe the architecture, interior design and furniture in America during the period after World War II to the mid-1970s. It is important not to be confused with the art deco design trend which was popular during the previous era of World War I.


The phrase was first used when art historian, Cara Greenberg, published her book in 1984. She describes how and why mid-century furniture developed and identifies some of the iconic designers between the 1940s until the late 1960s.

The earliest movement of mid-century modern design is said to have happened in Europe between the 1920s and 1930s. In the 1920s vehicles were becoming more popular and one of the significant changes to modern homes during this time was the addition of garages. Carports were another feature that appeared in-house designs during this time. It was only towards the at the end of World War II that modern design movement started to progress.

Towards the 1940s US soldiers returned home with their families which create a huge demand for tract housing. These houses were a simple design, and often builders took shortcuts so that they could be built at a faster pace. Houses also became larger in size and consisted of a commercial construction that represented the mid-century design emphasising clear lines and stylish angles.


Mid-century modern furniture design reflected these characteristics and introduced more curves, geometric shapes and stylised angles investing in new technologies. Mid-century modern furniture is designed to a high standard and pieces tend to be timeless.

During the baby boom era in the late 40s and 50s, architects and designers experimented with new forms that focused on the flow of moving inside and outside. These structures also aimed to create more privacy for homeowners. One of the most prominent features of mid-century modern design furniture is that it is also designed to be multi-purpose and furniture pieces were not restricted to having a single function. Household accessories also consisted of simple designs and reflected the new era. Some examples of well-known designers during the period of mid-century modern design