Emmy Gould. Art Deco. August 22nd , 2018.
Traditionally, classy lighting design only came in two variations : uplight and downlight. The theory has essentially stayed the same, as both of these are not harsh on the eyes and create a natural and elegant atmosphere to the room. Upward light design is when the bulb faces upwards, so that the light reflects against the ceiling creating a soft and lush light for the room. Downlight is the opposite, the bulb facing down, so that the delicate light focuses specifically around the table, desk or piece that the lamp has been placed upon. Contemporary designers do the same, by using a variation of materials and unique, beautiful designs. A particularly popular design is the tabletop chandelier, strands of glowing plastic or glass fibers lighting the room naturally and delicately.
As time went on, many different types of lighting fixtures came and went, things such as flame torches, tallow vessels, wax candles, oil lamps, paraffin lamps, then gas and finally electricity.
Art Deco was, above all, modern with a capital M. The geometric shapes, sharp angles, stepped patterns and sweeping curves were meant to capture the rapid advances in industry and technology that characterized the early 20th Century. This is why some of the most iconic examples of Art Deco style are the hi-tech symbols of the time: skyscrapers, ocean liners, radios and even phonographs. It's why the favored materials were aluminum, glass and stainless steel. Even the wood was shiny, either lacquered or inlaid. The floors were shiny as well, marble or tile, often with checkerboard patterns. Rugs featured geometric patterns, while Zebra skin and shagreen (snake skin) covered decorative surfaces. Mirrors were usually round and plentiful. Sunburst and chevron motifs could be seen on everything from furniture to woman's shoes to radiator grilles on cars. Paradoxically, while Art Deco was the epitome of Modernism, influences included patterns and symbols from Aztec Mexico, Egypt and Africa.
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