The Decorative Art of Today
Among the most famous of Le Corbusier's works, this book first came out in 1925 as a companion volume to "Towards a New Architecture and "The City of Tomorrow, two of the most influential writings on architecture and town planning Le Corbusier produced. This is the first English translation of Le Corbusier's densely illustrated polemic against the crafts tradition and superfluous ornament in interior decoration."The Decorative Art of Today was inspired by and written in protest to the Decorative Arts Exhibition mounted in Paris in 1925. In it Le Corbusier warned about certain dangerous trends he saw emerging in interior, industrial, and architectural design. He did not like what he saw. Against the official tradition of interior decoration, he called for an architecture that satisfied the imperatives of function through form and for an interior and an industrial design that responded to the industrial needs of the present, machine-age methods of production.Although the exhibition that spawned the term "Art Deco" was organized by the French Ministry of Industry and Commerce for the purpose of creating a market for French arts and crafts and to fend off the influx of foreign products, Le Corbusier saw an opportunity to show that the industry was capable of supplying not only the apartment but the entire city with mass-produced furniture and objects. His own roots lay in the crafts tradition; yet in this book he rejects the masters Ruskin, Hoffmann, Guimard, and Grasset and provides a theoretical basis for his opposition to decoration. The translator, James Dunnett, is professor of architecture at the University of Canterbury.
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