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Design within the confines of art history is a creative activity or object, most frequently with an industrial or commercial undertone. Objects made under the heading of design are often a reflection of social, political, scientific, and environmental causes. Design has been used as a means to solve problems, as a fundamental objective behind the medium is to create new possibilities or to improve a process. These objects typically are immersive, including an element of interaction between the user and the material itself. At the crux of it all, creators have turned to design as a means to improve the quality of life for humankind. Design is also multidisciplinarity to its core and has been nourished by the arts for centuries.

Design has evidently evolved since its conception. Highly influenced by societal issues and politics, as well as parallel art movements, design objects reflect the period from which they were made. Although similar, it is important to distinguish the difference between design and Decorative Arts, a 19th-century movement known for the creation of art objects. In the century that followed, art and design were undeniably affected by global turmoil and politics, impacting artists universally, resulting in the birth of an array of art movements.

The 20th-century was a period of tremendous artistic upheaval. Design, art, performance, and theater were all tremendously impacted by the two world wars and the Cold War. On top of this, society was rapidly evolving, with rising social and political movements, such as voting rights and women's suffrage. As the world continued to change and progress, so did the world of art. Design belonged to many, if not all, of the major art movements of the 20th-century; including, Art Nouveau, Modernism, Surrealism, Art Deco, Bauhaus, and Postmodernism.

Design continued to evolve into the 21st century, paving the way for contemporary design. There are various misconceptions when it comes to contemporary design. Typically, confusion comes into place when the lines are blurred between the terms “design" and “style." Many use these words interchangeably, but it is important to note the distinguishing factors. Style is part of the design process. Once you have designed the functionality of the piece you are part of the way to the final design. Beyond this, creators will often ponder the definition of design in the 21st century. Designers and artists have drawn upon various 20th-century movements, such as Mid-Century Modern, Scandinavian Minimalism, and even, Holywood Regenycy.

Some people oppose the idea that design objects can be considered works of art. However, the borders are porous as some of them emphasize artistic features and are singular and unique. Like artists, designers imagine their pieces as personal creations or are released in limited quantities. Their works are often a means to express their visions of the world. It is important to note that collaborations between artists and designers reinforce the links between these two universes, animated by the same search for beauty. Discover a carefully chosen selection of design objects that span an array of movements, from the past to the present!

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Decorative objects

Decorative objects



Artistic Tableware

Artistic Tableware




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Série de 6 assiettes en porcelaine, Ben série 1998, Ben

Série de 6 assiettes en porcelaine, Ben série 1998


Design - 53 x 79.5 x 15 cm


Femme-oiseau #2 - Vase sculpture, Diane Grant

Femme-oiseau #2 - Vase sculpture

Diane Grant

Design - 26 x 17 x 17 cm


Bubble-Game, Zhuo Qi


Zhuo Qi

Design - 14.5 x 14 x 10 cm


Oru carpet hen dada, Stoul

Oru carpet hen dada


Design - 63 x 180 x 0.6 cm


Les cadres éclatés (Série de 6 assiettes), Arman

Les cadres éclatés (Série de 6 assiettes)


Design - 55 x 82.5 x 12 cm


Facettes, Mpcem



Design - 80 x 25 x 25 cm


Letter opener Gustav Gurschner K.K. Kunst-Erzgießerei Wien ca. 1905, Gustav Gurschner

Letter opener Gustav Gurschner K.K. Kunst-Erzgießerei Wien ca. 1905

Gustav Gurschner

Design - 35.5 x 3 x 0.8 cm


Pennoni Alloy 6060 (IV), (a.o.t.)

Pennoni Alloy 6060 (IV)


Design - 80 x 55 x 48 cm


Fresh Ride, Piotre

Fresh Ride


Design - 80 x 31 x 5 cm


Table d'Appoint - Char AMX 40, Franck Scala

Table d'Appoint - Char AMX 40

Franck Scala

Design - 52 x 76 x 27 cm


Table - Paysage dans un nuage, Claude Gilli

Table - Paysage dans un nuage

Claude Gilli

Design - 70 x 60 x 65 cm