in Creative Response - VC

The Modernist Era

In the first excerpt, Modernism is a design principle based upon function over form. The author paints modernism in a way which seems it is the utopian design principle, whereby it is stripped of any social or political biase-ness and it is fundamentally pure. While this may be true for the author, I feel that the era in which modernism was birthed from was a direct result of political influence. The detachment from politics due to war is in itself an irony as the ideal aims to object to the use of art for persuasion.

Modernism is also explained to be void of any resemblence to nature and our surroundings. The author proclaims how myopic this view is as there are such strong emotions which can be derived from nature, mainly eroticism. However, there is so much more to emotions than pure lust. While most forms can be reduced to basic geometric shapes, we are erroding its essense of life by simplifying its complexity. Emotions of comfort, anger, happiness… all are dulled by the use of rigid geometric structures.


Modernism as a design ideal worked well for furniture design as well as architecture due to their need for functionality and usability. However, if the same ideas are forced upon graphic design, it completely changes the meaning behind creating something purely for visual aesthetics. The same limits which are bound to physical objects such as weight, materials or structure do not apply for graphic design. You are free to create to your heart’s content, using any medium, any thickness of strokes.

It all lies within your capacity to create, which is why art nouveau as a movement was so popular. It did not limit the creative expressions of individuals, instead, encouraged creatives to look beyond their world, into mother nature for her years of refining her aesthetics.