Mid-Century Basics

Apartment Therapy has a good primer for anyone just getting started with mid-century design. They get into some of the foundations of the movement as well as a few of the major designers of the time.

Here's an excerpt:
The mid-century modernists laid a foundation with the lofty ideals of their predecessors, and in the years following World War II, what they built upon it was revolutionary.

This era's American designers had at their disposal a dizzying array of new materials and processes that had been developed during wartime. Resins, plastics, fiberglass, metal alloys and laminates allowed for unprecedented innovation, as well as mass production.

Architects opened up floor plans and installed walls of glass. Spaces encouraged a seamless transition of indoor and outdoor living, especially in the West. Though the wealthy could commission spectacular custom dwellings, developers created tract homes based on the same principles.

There was a sense of social responsibility to it all. Mid-century designers genuinely thought that they were improving life through comfortable furniture, forward-thinking architecture and careful civic planning. For the first time, they were putting design within reach of the middle-class American family.


  1. Some of the comments on that AT post were interesting. The MCM naysayers have been claiming for decades that this "fad" was going to disappear, and we just keep proving them wrong.

  2. It's simple: Good design is never a fad, it just waits for people to find it again. It might be more or less popular at certain points, but it never goes away. Be it MCM or any other style.