Modernism, Modernity and Modernisation: Urban Growth in Melbourne Between the Wars

Topics: Modernism, Architecture, Sociology Pages: 4 (1549 words) Published: October 31, 2012
“Through migrants, expatriates, exhibitions and publications, Australia first came into contact with Modernism in the mid-1910s. The modernist movement in Australia was at it’s most influential for over five decades, including global wars, economic depression, technological advances and massive social change. ( This article, however, will be focusing on Australia’s development of Modernity, Modernisation and Modernism between the inter-war period of 1919 to 1939. With an ever expanding city, Melbourne designers and architects took advantage of new technologies and advancements in the production of steel and glass which opened up endless possibilities for space and light, and moving between the outside and the inside. Harry Seidler, an Australian architect who is considered to be one of the leading designers of Modernism’s methodology in Australia stated that “It was a conviction that what man's eye seeks in our era, in our time, is not the ponderous solidity of traditional architecture where everything was built to four walls around a room and spaces that were finite. But rather our eyes seek transparency, lightness... being able to look through things.” ( Although Seidler’s designs flourished after World War Two, his works utilised the new materials, technology and machinery that the Modernist designers and architects took advantage of before him.

Major changes occurred in the world of architecture in Australia during the interwar period. Modernist design in Melbourne ‘was the result of a shift by Australian designers, away from British influences and towards internationalism. Britain had been traditionally regarded as the touchstone for Australian culture, and while architects and designers continued to look to London in the 1930s, they were increasingly drawn to the modernist design of Europe and the...
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