Design Dictionnary

New to the world of mid-century modern design? Let us help you navigate through two of the most influential periods of furniture design.


During the mid-century modern period of the 20th century, designers constructed the look of the future. Materials like glass fiber, curved plywood, die-cast aluminum alloy, acrylics, and plastics (then only considered as industrial backs) were transformed into unconventional home furniture with organic shapes. The goal was to build several inexpensive products, meant for businesses or homes, with original styles and pure lines. The most popular designs are still important today and are shared by American and Scandinavian designers of that time.


The Bauhaus movement was at the forefront of mid-century design techniques and theory. Beginning in 1919 in Weimar, Germany, architects from this time were visionaries who created furniture as continuations of their art. “Shape must follow purpose” and “less is more” were born from Bauhaus design principles emphasizing clean corners and pure lines, with materials such as polished steel and leather. Marcel Breuer had the idea to manufacture furniture in metallic tubes by examining his bicycle handlebars. According to him, these materials were as comfortable as the traditional fillings but were lighter, cheaper, and more hygienic.

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