The Ideal of Handicrafts and the Modern Design Formation: Coincidences and Failures

Johannis TSOUMAS


The research below is trying to focus on the concept of the closely affiliated meaning of handicrafts with the meaning of what today is considered to be modern design. Its main objective is to demonstrate not only through theory but also through a series of key, clear and important historical examples which extend from the dark Middle Ages to modern times that the handicrafts fairly constituted the basis upon which industrial design arose and triumphed in Western societies. An important milestone in the development of this nonnegotiable, close relationship is the Great Britain nineteenth century as it constituted not only the time of the Industrial Revolution, but also the period of re-designing objects according to the medieval ways and methods, asMorris and Ruskin unrealistically believed. Then the European Art Nouveau, the last hope of handicrafts in the applied arts before the complete mass production of Modernism, but also the manual activity ofthethird world countries highlight the similarities and differences between the two concepts of our concern which today remain both important and distinct.

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