To improve the dialectic relationship, designers must consciously or unconsciously develop forms and designs to reflect the needs of the modern man – shelter, social interaction space and a continuing fascination with the machine age. . This aspect of space is explored to discover how a human fascination with the machine changed the spaces created and how these altered spaces changed the way in which its users interact. Thus, a kitchen or a living room is not merely a square space but is instead an area where families have some of their most intimate moments. The evolution of the machine age developed new social, economic, and aesthetic values that modernist designers have integrated in their works intending to better serve the working class. While some designers have met this objective, others have failed. This is not because of ideological differences but because of the lack of execution, commitment and translation of design to form. By understanding some of the historical conceptions of modernity and looking at some of the designs that have been developed within this context, it is possible to gain a greater appreciation for how interior design functions to both support and define concepts of contemporary living.
Modernity is the concept of legitimizing emotions with space. As a movement, its primary influence was evident during the early to mid-1900s as the excitement of industrialization and new materials inspired new design in association with new philosophies regarding society and man’s place within it. Its philosophy involves the identification of social spaces within the home as spaces of community interaction. It represents the individual with specific reference to the greater society.1 Scholars define modernity as the relationship between a dwelling and architecture or as “a condition of living imposed upon individuals by the socioeconomic process of modernization.”