The Arts and Crafts movement is a design reform movement which held sway between 1860-1920 and it emerged in response to criticisms of the mass-produced Victorian designs presented at the great exhibition in 1851.
The movement was made up of designers, writers and architects who sought a return to quality hand-crafted products, and it impacted everything from jewellery to buildings.
With that in mind, here are five ways the principles of the Arts and Crafts movement can be applied to your architecture project.
There was a collective belief within the Arts and Crafts movement of designing for a total interior – a space where architecture and décor blended together as one. Arts and Crafts designers therefore often worked across a vast array of disciplines.
This cross-disciplinary approach is perfect for large scale architectural projects that require a range of expertise. By embedding multi-disciplinary teams or training across a range of disciplines such as architecture and interior design, you can design buildings that look and function effectively inside and out.
William Morris, one of the leading figures of the movement, believed that the division of labour, whereby each person works on a specific task in the production process, meant that people had a very loose involvement with the results of their work.
This brings to light the importance of being intimately involved with every stage of your project and ensuring that its overarching creative vision inspires everyone involved. This is particularly important in architecture, where numerous parties collaborate in the design, planning and development of a building.
Simplicity was one of the key principles underpinning the Arts and Crafts movement, with function and need being the primary factors considered when designing a product.
By keeping designs simple in terms of aesthetics and prioritising substance over style, architects can focus more on function and ensure that the buildings they design are fit for purpose and effectively meet the requirements of the brief.
With its focus on traditional craftmanship, the Arts and Crafts movement encouraged an individualistic approach to design, with workers making best use of their skills.
A strong sense of individuality and awareness of one’s strengths is of great benefit because it positions you perfectly to create distinct designs that showcase your skills and stand out to the masses for all the right reasons.
The Arts and Crafts movement triggered a sea change from mass-produced machine products to small-scale carefully hand-crafted goods that were of a higher quality finish.
This small-scale hands-on approach to is easy for architects and designers to adopt, with businesses such as craft store Wild Warehouse providing quality products which can be used to create those fine stylish design details that make public and private spaces a joy to spend time in.
The Arts and Crafts movement may have ended almost 100 years ago but its principles and purpose look set to inform architects and designers for generations to come.
That’s our list! Share your thoughts on the relationship between arts & crafts and architecture in the comments section.