This week, I am going to devote the blog to the centenary (or two) of a couple of design and architecture events and people. The first is to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of the influential writer, thinker, artist, and social reformer John Ruskin (1819 -1900), who can be also considered as the father of Modern Design. This anniversary will be celebrated at various galleries, universities and cultural institutions across the world, remembering the man who was the leading art critic in Victorian England and whose daring approach and ideas have come to shape a new chapter in the history of modern design. Praising for quality, and new notions of the ideal beauty, Ruskin had put the foundation to the design of the modern home. “To banish imperfection," he said, "is to destroy expression, to check exertion, to paralyze vitality.” He found the ideal beauty in ruined Gothic churches; in the truth of nature; and in lost values of the society. Great design and dwelling culture, he argued, should embrace social and political issues, just as embodied two decades after his death at the Bauhaus School, which was subjected to the changing and brutal political events of its time. Ruskin was a Romantic, but he was also a rationalist whose books and essays came to be fulfilled in the form of the Arts and Crafts Movement.
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