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THE MACHINE AGE: 1922-1929 - MEGOLA SPORT 640 cc, 1922, Germany

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TERMENI importanti pentru acest document

THE MACHINE AGE: 1922-1929


MEGOLA SPORT
640 cc, 1922, Germany
Deutsches Museum, Munich



The 1920s was an age of euphoria and sobriety born on the heels of the first global war in modern history. The aftermath of this far-reaching conflict ushered in an era celebrated as 'the Roaring Twenties' and 'the Machine Age,' a decade in which a return to order on the political front was offset by social liberation and an outburst of artistic creativity. Characterized by carefree expression on the one hand and sober, utopian visions on the other, the cultural spirit of the '20s was bound by a desire to wipe away the horrors of war and to rebuild society according to new values and ideas.

The upheavals of the birth of the Soviet Union ushered in an era of planning and restructuring, defined by the promise of technology, to form the foundation of a socialist utopia. A group of Russian avant-gardes known as the Constructivists who perceived themselves as engineers rather than fine artists abandoned realist representation in favor of the abstract language of geometry. Their forms in steel and glass served as metaphors for a new world order of harmony, precision, and clarity.


BMW R32
494 cc, 1923, Germany
Collection of David Percival

This new direction's manifestation in Modern architecture came to be known as the 'International Style,' so-called because of its widespread adoption and its seemingly universal visual language. Le Corbusier's landmark Pavillon de l'Espirit Nouveau, a two-story apartment built for the 1925 Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs, exemplified the principle of the building as machine, constructed from modern materials and a design language culled from a hybrid of Classicism and Modern engineering. The exhibition was also a watershed for Modern design, serving as the foundation for Art Deco, the quintessential Machine Age style defined by its combination of streamlined forms and use of industrial materials like chrome and plastic.




But perhaps the most far-reaching influence of the machine aesthetic can be traced to Germany's Bauhaus, the landmark school founded in 1919. Under the directorship of Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus espoused social change through architecture, functional objects, and works of art based on a universal visual language (geometry) capable of being mass-produced through the use of inexpensive, industrial materials. The motorcycles of the era, such as the BMW R32 and the Moto Guzzi C4V, Machine Age design emphasis on practicality and efficiency achieved through a reductive vocabulary of forms epitomized the ethos of the Machine Age: clean, lean, and devoid of ornamentation.


Scott Squirrel Sprint Special
620 cc, 1929, United Kingdom
The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
Birmingham, AL



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