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Verner Panton, Phantasie-Landschaft aus der Ausstellung Visiona 2, Köln, Deutschland, 1970

Better Living, Better Life

Looking back a century, debates on social background and affordable housing were particularly influential. Parallel to that discourse, Adolf Loos and Mies van der Rohe revolutionized traditional spatial planning with their innovative designs. Addressing the three-dimensionality of space they introduced the concept of open floor plans. ­After the First World War, this ­experimental approach to design was embraced by the furniture industry. Avant-garde trends not only informed the latest materials and household appliances, but also laid the groundwork for the developments in interior design that followed from the 1960s to 1980s.
The influence of postmodernism led to radical breaks in tradition and individual furniture pieces took on special meaning and symbolism. These developments led to Andy Warhol’s loft living trend and George Candilis’s modular Hexacube, which sparked ideas on modular and mobile living Perhaps the most striking change in the furniture industry has been brought about by the advent of Ikea.  The multinational furniture company has redefined people’s understanding of living space and transformed furniture into a short-lived consumer good. To this day, the company’s concept continues to meet the demands of consumer society in terms of both individualization and the constant desire for change.
Under the persisting influence of social platforms such as Airbnb, Instagram and Pinterest, we are seduced – or rather summoned – to repeatedly change the scenery inside our own living zone. Interior design is faced with new challenges brought on by the commercialization of living space as well as ever-smaller floor plans and increasing demands for functionality. Ultimately, a look back into the history of interior design confronts us with the question: How do we want to live?

A detailed print documentation is available in our issue DETAIL 4/2020 concerning the topic "Densification".
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Further articles to the issue DETAIL 4/2020 are available here.

This article is taken out of the following magazine:
DETAIL 4/2020
DETAIL 4/2020, Densification


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