Lotta Living Official Definition of MCM
Read about and discuss this definition here:
Mid Century Modernism refers to a historic design period of the mid 20th century or design that is reflective of that era. The historic Mid Century period begins roughly after the end of World Ward II in 1945 and is usually extended to the mid 1960s or early 1970s. It is also sometimes referred to simply Modernism, MidMod or the Post War (post World War II) period. General traits of Modernism include clean lines, lack of excess ornamentation, expansive use of glass, use of raw natural as well as man made materials, and incorporation of indoor/outdoor spaces. There are several sub genres that fall into the Mid Century Modernist movement that include but are not limited to: Googie, International, Post and Beam, Programmatic, Roadside and Post Modern.
Googie is also known as Coffee Shop Modern, an architectural style characterized by space-age / atomic age graphics, parabolic shapes, boomerangs, folded plates, sweeping cantilevered roofs, bold widely angled lines and fanciful pop culture motifs. The term is derived from Googie’s Coffee Shop, designed by John Lautner in the 1940s.
International is an architectural style characterized by clean, bold lines and geometric forms, lack of ornamentation or texture, and steel, glass or reinforced-concrete construction.
Post and Beam
Post and Beam is a a construction method that emphasizes vertical and horizontal elements popularized in the Mid Century Modern era.
Programmatic and Roadside Architecture
While these styles are not usually labeled specifically “Modern,” Programmatic and Roadside architecture are from the same historic period and often share common characteristics. Programmatic buildings usually reflect the contents within: from the obvious hot dog-shaped stand that sells hot dogs to the sublime derby hat that symbolizes a “classy” place to eat. Roadside architecture includes structures, signage or other elements that are designed primarily to attract the passing motorist.
Post Modernism is an architectural style from the end of the 20th century that built upon and expanded the principles of Mid Century Modernism through more exaggerated geometric forms and lack of ornamentation.