Art Deco was an art and design style that originated inParisin the 1920s. It declined in the late 30s/early 40s, but regained momentum during the 60s and 80s. It has influenced many other styles e.g. Pop Art. It represented elegance, glamour, modernity and functionality.
Art Deco is characterized by linear symmetry as oppose to the flowing asymmetrical organic curves of the predecessor art nouveau. Its structure is based on mathematical geometrical shapes, crystalline and faceted forms, trapezoidal, zigzagging and jumbled shapes, sunburst and fountain motives. It involved the use of manmade materials, symmetry, simplicity and repetition.
Art Deco represents a mix of styles, namely neoclassical, constructivism, cubism, modernism, futurism. It expresses the popular interest in travel and archeology of its time by displaying influences fromBabylon,Assyria, Ancient Egypt and Aztec style. Furthermore, it mirrors the rapid technological development of its time and the interest in Machine Age and streamline technologies like ocean liners, aviation, electric lightning, radio.
Art Deco started as purely decorative style with no hindsight, but was adopted highly during the Great Depression due to its practicality, simplicity with a hint of a reminder of better times.