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Basics of Modern Design

modern design zaha karl how to tips advice

fashion meets architecture: two of the icons of modern design – Karl Lagerfeld and Zaha Hadid

Whether you’re a design enthusiast or looking for ways to perfect your design skills, we think the following tips might help you in your quest for modern aesthetic perfection. Here are some basic rules you should keep in mind:

There is just one word that best describes modern design: simplicity. Since the first quarter of the 20th century when modernism gathered speed, simplicity and purity of forms has marked modern design – from Walter Gropius to Karim Rashid.


Shape is the first thing one perceives in any object. Modern design is usually characterized by 2 types of shapes – raw, straight, angular shapes and oval, curving ones that give to modern design its organic look. Angular shapes are considered rather masculine and severe, while rounded ones are softer and more feminine. Which approach to modern design you should choose – it’s up to your liking.

questionmark corbusier how to tips adviceStefan Heiliger\’s Question Mark chair vs. Le Corbusier’s LC2 chair

Scale and proportion:

Talking about modernism, we can’t go on without mentioning Le Corbusier’s Modulor. The Modulor is a system developed using human measurements, Fibonacci numbers and the golden ratio with one goal – to discover the proportions of the human body and thus improve architecture. So we can say modern design revolves around the man and its main function is to serve him. Therefore scale and proportion have human-defined dimensions. Call it as you wish – ergonomics, functionality, comfort, it’s all correct.

modulor how to tips adviceLe Corbusier’s Modulor


When it comes to colors, there are no limitations. Every color in the right hue is okay, however pay attention to the way different colors blend. Here we have 2 approaches as well: let’s call them a feminine and a masculine one. The feminine is softer and uses various hues of the same color or similar and matching ones. Such color schemes please and calm the eye and the mind, bringing a feel of serenity. The masculine color scheme uses contrasting colors to create focal points and accents. For example: grey and orange, white and red, black and light green. This method is slightly aggressive and unlike the “feminine” approach, provokes and intensifies emotions.

ownby kitchen how to tips adviceOwnby\’s Modern Spanish vs. Alessi kitchen

alessi kitchen how to tips advice


Space is another key characterization of modern design and architecture. “Cluttered” looks just don’t go nowadays. Space is the “air” the design breaths, so it’s good to have plenty of clean, unpolluted space.


Go green! Preserve the planet and your health and use natural or bio-degradable materials. Eco-conscious is not just a trend, it’s a philosophy.

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One comment so far to “Basics of Modern Design”
  1. Marcia Says:

    Organic vs. industrial are better terms than feminine vs. masculine in both cases.

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