Design: User-Friendly Winners

Bare modernism is replaced by lively pluralism

"Good design" used to mean "modern" design: simple form derived from a direct accommodation of function. Never mind that this style tended to frustrate the human craving for ornament and historical continuity, or that it often clashed with its surroundings. Orthodoxy decreed that modern, $ functional form was the only valid expression of our time.

The antimodern, or "postmodern," movement of the past decade has shaken this complacency. Postmodernism is just as abstract, arrogant and alienated from popular culture as "less-is-more" modernism ever was. Worse, it has abandoned all the social aspirations of the early modern movement. Yet antimodernism has demonstrated...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!