Art Deco: Architecture Trapped Between the Past and Present

Art Deco: Architecture Trapped Between the Past and Present

Art deco is a style or “style moderne” is a style of architecture that started in the 1920s and popularized during the 1930s in the United States and western Europe. This style combined modernism and fashion into architecture using materials that come at a premium and mass-produced products to create a silhouette that would grab one’s attention to a building that doesn’t fit into the status quo yet still give the impression of elegance and sophistication.


One of the reasons art deco has become so prominent up until this day is because of its uniqueness. Compared to other architectural styles usually inspired by culture, art deco doesn’t seem to have any trace of influence coming from different cultures. Instead, the main goal of art deco is to create a rhythmic structure that has clean, simple, and geometric shapes that can be found everywhere. Moreover, art deco is usually paired with pricy, manufactured materials in addition to the natural ones being used.



The aesthetic of art deco is similar to modernism because it was inspired by modernism. What makes these two styles so similar is that these architectural styles make use of simple and streamlined looks. However, modernism and art deco still have their differences. The main difference is that the whole concept of art deco follows the simple rule of modernism turned into fashion.

How to spot art deco

This architectural style was born in a post-war society. To inspire creativity, positivity, and playfulness, art deco was born. Using bold colors and materials that demand attention. When in an art deco building, it’s common to find perfect symmetry, rare and uncommon wood, and its defining characteristic luxury. The use of expensive lumber is by design because it is said to represent and show the hard work put into these pieces and, at the same time, indicate the durability of these materials.


Art deco can come in many different forms and shapes. But when talking about art deco, it is most commonly referring to architecture. One of the mediums that are discussed less are furniture. Those who wish to follow the design language of art deco decorate their house with objects that help highlight and elevate the design of the space. Designers of furniture for art deco normally exaggerate the size and the silhouette of these furnishings. Moreover, they typically come with pieces made out of metal used around the space.

Art deco understands that simplifying something to it’s most naked form is what makes something stand out. Unlike other architectual styles that keep adding more and making things complicated, art deco is not afraid to use bold colors, shapes, and concepts. Utilizing and following this architectural style can be challenging because it is costly. But behind the price, you find a style that is rich with history. It is truly a style that looks like it is stuck between the past and present. If your main goal is to create a building that draws and brings inspiration to people, then art deco might be the perfect architectural style.

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