15 May 2013

When Did Mid-Century End...? Or Did It?

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No... No... We're not about to get into a long debate over what year, what design, color scheme, or material marked the end of Mid-Century design. Still, there are moments when I ponder:  
"Taking the physical limitation of a year number or the machinery used out of the equation, can we really say that mid-century design ever ended?"
I know... I know... We're getting back to that every obvious and never ending debate again. Really though, have you thought about the question posed, seriously?

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Don't worry, like I mentioned before, I'm not getting all philosophical, or anything like that. Well, not to much so at least. However, while I was looking thru my RSS feeds, I did run across a feed from Dwell.

As you know, it's not unusual to find MCM mixed in amongst more contemporary modern. Plus, you find that, throw back to the retro age, stuff. Design that is as close to a copy of original mid-century pieces without stepping on the toes of patent law. (Not complaining, it's always good to have retro/vintage/mid-century remakes.)

 After seeing the mid-century focus of Dwell's latest feature, I decided to see more about the article. By accident though, I ran across the Dwell On Design page, and then onto the Furniture page.

Evidently, Dwell On Design with the Furniture Society has put together a selection of furniture from 12 eceptional students from across the U.S. to participate in a competition to see who will win a band saw. These works, all 12 I understand, will be shown as part of the Dwell On Design trade show. This portion of the event, is what started me thinking.

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Granted, while not all 12 pieces are spitting images of Mid-Century design*, a number of them are really close in style. We all know that they have studied the famous and inspirational designers* designers of the mid-century era, and therefore, were influenced in their own design characteristics. At the same time though, some of these could really pass off in a mid-century home without someone as much as noticing that they were not an original mid-century piece. I'm talking about for a normally adjusted person, not us design obsessed fiends.

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This still makes me wonder, if the MCM designers of the past had been able to keep their youth and vigor up till today, would their designs be far off from those of contemporary modern designers? Or, if these new designers had lived in the Mid-Century era*, would the famous designers have considered them as contemporary, progressive, and inspirational? We will never know. When I see works like this though, it reminds me that new, original mid-century design is still being created. You see in almost all aspects. Architecture*, furniture*, graphics*, and fine art*. Honestly, I think it's a good thing too.

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