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Design is an art in itself. This art has a different and innovative style and comes in the wake of design making traditions spanning over centuries. The advent of practical thinking, an intention or a concept in the achievement of a form quite innovative in terms of interior design, revolutionized the decorative arts. By resorting to history, we will attempt to explain what design is and why it is still very popular. This study will consider over twenty years of artistic research.

The Eclectic Art (1850 to 1900) - Concerning the arts and decor there is no time more complex and contradictory than the second half of the nineteenth century. The bourgeoisie, now firmly established in power, decided to promote the scientific and industrial progress, tending towards unscrupulous practices in business, still very hesitant on his aesthetic tastes, and prefer reassurance with stylistic expressions sometimes obsolete, rather than engaging in discovery of new artistic expressions. In this context, objecting to rules and conformism, many intellectuals, refusing to join the nostalgic spirit of the ruling class, prompted by moral and political bodies, and the educational and social function of art, found in the masses a new reference.

Technological advances and industrialization gave a new impetus to all kinds of sectors, including with regard to the conditions of material life. The standard of living rises gradually and major cities are adapting their appearance to the new demands of the progress. During this century, inventions abound: machines, technologies, materials and production processes profoundly change habits and social relations, giving them a dynamism never experienced before. In this new context, the young American nation is intended to embody the essence of this new spirit, becoming the very symbol of progress, much more than the European countries.

Due to the expansion of industrial production, tradesmen are forced to find new markets, since national boundaries are proving totally inadequate now. In France, in 1849, an international exhibition, the first of its kind, was held, showcasing the best products over the world. The English responded to this challenge, and two years later, in Hyde Park, London, the first World Exhibition of the city was held, strongly supported by the Prince Consort Albert and devoted entirely to the industry.

The person in charge of this imposing event was the capable and intelligent, Henry Cole (1808 - 1882), who ignited a controversy on the lack of aesthetic quality of the industrial products. Far from being opposed to technology, as advocated by some negatively judging the quality of the objects produced by machines, Cole's intent was to bridge the gap that has occurred between art and technology . To do this, one should look for new ways to develop projects, specifically designed for the creation of objects: this is called the industrial design.

The 1851 Exhibition was an opportunity to take stock of the contradictions and extremely important theoretical issues, confirmed by the confusing and inconsistent picture of the exhibits. The building hosting the event was labeled "Crystal Palace" because of its spooky appearance, its designer was John Paxton (1803 - 1865), a manufacturer of greenhouses.

Tags: 1851 Exhibition, industrial design, Crystal Palace

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