The art and craft movement

The Arts and Crafts Movement was one of the most influential, profound and far-reaching design movements of modern times. The Arts and Crafts Movement (1850-1900) was a reaction against the Industrial Revolution.

The invention of the steam engine led to the mechanization of industry, agriculture and transportation and changed the life of the working man in Britain. Due to the influx of workers from the countryside looking for work in the cities,  The cities and towns grew. However, living standards got worse. Many folk from the country had sacrificed their rural life style for jobs in the factories and mils of the Industrial Revolution.

The members of the Arts and Crafts Movement included architects, designers, artists, craftsmen and writers. They feared that industrialization was destroying the  traditional skills and crafts, They believed that hand crafted objects were superior to those made by machine. And that the craftsman who made things by hand had a better quality of life than those that slaved away in the mills and factories. They were convinced that the industrial lack of artistic standards were to blame for the nation’s social and moral decline.

The Arts and Crafts Movement was also a reaction against the poor quality of design during the Industrial Revolution.

The Crafts Guilds

The Journal of the Century Guild

Hobby Horse (Edition No1, April 1884)

The Arts and Crafts Movement formed into various crafts guilds to try to recreate the dignified working environment that existed in the medieval crafts guilds. They gave themselves names such as the Century Guild, the Guild of Saint George, the Art Workers Guild and the Guild of Handicraft.

The Century Guild was the first of the craft guilds- It was founded in 1882,in 1884 the guild published a quaterly journal called(hobby horse)to promote their ideas.

The art workers guild-promoted art and craft in mainstream education. The  members of this guild mainly consisted of lecturers and principals from leading art schools.The integration of design with art education is one of the great legacies of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

The down fall of the arts and crafts movement was due to their aversion to modern methods of production, and their constantly looking to the past. Their socialist ideals could only fail as hand produced design was to expensive to produce ,this resulted in the fact that only the rich could afford to buy it.

The arts and craft movement did however leave behind the legacy of good design and its relationship with society. This would later be used to produce good design through  industrial mass  production.

1-DS-Arts-and-Crafts-style  12/04/13



Bauhaus -the word means-House of Building or Building School.

For the design student, the Bauhaus Movement is considered one of the most important design movements in the twentieth century.

The Bauhaus was created from in Germany as a reaction to the art and crafts developments in Britain. Bauhaus was one of  a hundred specialist art education institutions at the time, however, the Bauhaus focused on reforming arts education into a defined course. The institute believed that students should not specialize in one area of study but learn broadly across all artistic disciplines.

The Bauhaus was founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius it was his aim to unify arts and craftsmanship within an educational program, this still influences design universities today. The aim of his idea was to remove social differences and create a better world where design is created by humans for humans through the overcoming of overstated individualism and exploitation of the masses for the advantage of a few people(Grohn 1992)

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