In the reflections unit we have covered the Victorian time period. During this time many styles have overcrowded its interiors. Machines and new materials are now being introduced to the design world creating new building structures with new purposes.
The crystal palace is constructed from the new materials that were introduced in this time, iron and glass. It is the setting for the exhibition of the world’s fair of 1851 where many designs are shown in this place. It becomes a container for what the design world has to offer. It is containing the past designs in this modern design. The great exhibition demistrated the world’s influence on design, it was providing the world inside a glass bottle. The exhibition itself represented the eclecticism of the Victorian time period. Many people were now able to see what the world has to offer through this exhibition, and now wanted to have different things in their home. Now the interiors were now being cluttered with all these artifacts to represent the owner’s understanding of world.
The crystal palace itself did not correspond to what was inside, like many buildings during its time the interiors did not match what the exteriors had on its façade. Many people had different opinions about what should be the dominate influence in design. Everything in this time period reflected what was being questioned, what style should be used. Mostly because no one knew the right answer, therefore many interiors were crammed with different patterns and textures that made everything look busy and difficult to pinpoint one style. “Everything Goes” became the concept of these hodge podge interiors. During this time as well the trade routes opened up to Japan and China, adding more influences to the design world. It was a time period of testing new things and exhibiting different cultural influences. Everything that was being created was its own riff of what other cultures and previous stylistic period had done before. They were trying to connect with the past and other worlds, which changed the connotation of the whole things they were trying to revive.
In a way homes and the crystal palace became like modern museums of the time, especially the crystal palace. You can compare the crystal palace to the Guggenheim museum in New York. Both showcasing different styles under one roof that does not seem to be housing these styles. Like the crystal palace the Guggenheim was very modern for its time and open to allow its artifacts to be the main focus. The Crystal Palace like the Guggenheim was a very interesting container that became its own artifact of modernism in its own time period. Leading the way to innovative use of materials, and space. As you walk in a spiral to see the revolution art in the Guggenheim, the Crystal Palace used its exhibitions to showcase the revolution of design and what the world had to offer. Just like art, people had their own interpretation of what should have been revived, designed and also shown in their interiors at the time.
|Crystal Palace |