Essay on Influences on Designers Mies Van Der Rohe and Breuer, Europe, 1920's

Words: 1695
Pages: 7

To what extent did external influences shape what modernist design became in Europe in the 1920’s?
Focusing on chair designs by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer.

In design, external influences have always played a vital role in any given trend. In the 1920’s, an era commonly referred to as the Machine Age , modernist design followed a very focused approach: a desire to create a better world. In this essay, I will make a brief overview of the socio-economic situation of this time period, with a short introduction to the life of the two practitioners whose work I will analyse: Marcel Breuer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. I will deliver an examination of their most famous designs, by considering three major themes: rejection of
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With this particular feature, he was able to achieve the springy feature of the chair, which was further enhanced by the bendy properties of the tubular steel. The design followed the need, whilst maintaining a neat and well-constructed frame. It gave the user a comfortable and luxurious product. Mies van der Rohe’s well-known Barcelona Chair (Image 3) had a scissor-like structure, which gave the chair stability, while maintaining a luxurious and minimal look. The chrome polished steel was again very appealing in a geometrical and unconventional way. It shows an embrace of innovation.

Contextual factors are a big influence on practitioners’ designs. However, the influence of other designers’ work should also be noted. For example; Dutch designer Mart Stam’s cantilevered design.
As previously mentioned, Breuer introduced tubular steel into home furnishing in 1925 with his Wassily Armchair (Image 2). In 1926, however, Mart Stam introduced his W1 chair (Image 5); (made also of tubular steel), a cantilevered design with no back legs, which allowed for the tubular steels properties to be fully taken advantage of. After this particular property of tubular steel had been introduced, designers began thinking along similar lines. Considering these facts, it can be said that both Mies van der Rohe and Breuer were influenced and predisposed to go along similar lines as Mart Stam.
In 1928, Breuer came up with the B 64 Cesca chair (Image 1), which was criticised as