DSDN171 | Assignment 5: Academic Writing
Thursday, 30 May 2013 @ 19:59
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Art Deco is characterized by streamlining and focuses on aerodynamic concepts of motion and speed (Victoria and Albert Museum). The 'Art Deco Wooden Cigarette Box' found on Trade-Me, however, does not embrace these features of the style, and thus is not Art Deco as the seller claims.

Firstly, while it does have smooth round corners, the box in a whole is heavy and angular. This differs from an Art Deco design, which focuses on the idea of velocity, with fluid shapes to represent motion and speed (Victoria and Albert Museum).

Secondly, while at first glace, the pattern across the lid seems to match the abstract theme present in Art Deco, the style of abstraction reminds one of the Design Reform era, more specifically Owen Jones' idea of abstraction: “..conventional representations founded upon them sufficiently suggestive to convey the intended image to the mind..” (Jones, 1956). The abstracted flattened pattern thus suggests an influence from the design reform era.

Lastly, the wooden surface is different from the chrome and shiny reflective surfaces that were most prevalent during Art Deco. Throughout the interior and exterior of the box, the wood is exposed. In this case, truthfulness to the material used is in line with the ideals of the Arts and Craft movement (Ruskin, 1853).

In conclusion, the box should more accurately be classified as a piece influenced by the Design Reform era.


Art Deco in America. Retrived from http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/art-deco-in-america/

Jones, O. (1856). Grammar of Ornament. Retrived from http://schoolofdesign.ac.nz/pluginfile.php/8443/mod_resource/content/2/wk_4_Design%20Reform_Ruskin.pdf

Ruskin, J. (1853). The Nature of Gothic. Retrived from http://schoolofdesign.ac.nz/pluginfile.php/8443/mod_resource/content/2/wk_4_Design%20Reform_Ruskin.pdf



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