Resources for Design Styles (U1 Topic 3)



Can anyone help with examples of each of the styles and designers that we’re talking about here? Does anyone have good examples?

The curriculum asks us to do a whole lot here and it makes sense if we can pool our resources. All help appreciated!

From the curriculum:

  • Analyse existing designs to understand that designs are informed by the inspiration of past accomplishments
  • compare and contrast influential design styles, e.g. Art Deco, Bauhaus, Brutalism, Memphis, Minimalism, Modernism, Postmodernism
  • identify the influence of design styles across design professions
  • classify how influential designers from the past have used the elements and principles of visual communication. Consider a range of designers, e.g. Marianne Brandt, Margaret Calvert, Lucienne Day, Zaha Hadid, Arne Jacobsen, Raymond Loewy, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Gerrit Rietveld, Harry Seidler, Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe
  • form conclusions about how the elements and principles of visual communication are used to define design styles
  • Analyse what makes classic designs distinguishable, iconic and timeless to understand the reasons for their success, considering how these designs ­relate to principles of good design, defy obsolescence and transcend original function, maintain a constant presence in society over time­ influence decisions to value form over function, e.g. developing new designs based on a classic design (retro-styling)


I quite like the “easy guide to design movements” online.

For example:

For brutalism I always think of Macquarie University where I used to work which had an awesome old library that was a total cliche of the style. I think it worked better for Corb in Southern France than it does in suburban Sydney… But the older I get the more I seem to appreciate it :wink:


Many of the styles mentioned in the syllabus connect most readily with architecture but are not necessarily universal. Some of my favourite product-related styles include:

  • Streamlining
  • Minimalism
  • Organic Design
  • Scandinavian Modern
  • Minimalism
  • High-tech

Of course most of Apple’s recent stuff (since Jonny Ive came to prominence) are Minimalism which means this style is currently very prominent. Before Apple, Braun, mainly through the work of Dieter Rams, was probably the most prominent proponent of this style in products. Here’s a nice analysis of the Braun SK55 turntable:

[Braun SK55 Minimaly Minimal]

Lakshmi Bhaskaran’s book, ‘Designs of the Times’: Using Key Movements and Styles for Contemporary Design’ is a very accessible introduction to design styles.


Brisbane City Council put together a resource demonstrating housing styles we are likely to see in Brisbane -"Recognising housing styles’. There is a link that opens a word document with annotated sketched examples -


What we really need is for someone to build an online encyclopedia of design movements in the same way that there is the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and with the same level of rigor.

I had a quick look but I couldn’t find such a thing. Anybody want to take on a passion project?!?


I wonder if the teachers associations may be able to sponsor someone / group to develop such a resource… Just a thought.


That is an excellent idea - @Adam_Jefford do you have any ideas about how this could potentially be done as a part of the SLQ Design Minds activities? Or know of any sponsors who might be willing to fund such a project? I think there’s a real need for it and I would love for SLQ to be its home.


Open to the conversation! I’m happy to meet with anyone (@Curtis_Bruce ?) to develop the design brief and scope…


Happy to meet and have a conversation around brief and scope @Adam_Jefford @Nick_Kelly


A list of major twentieth century art and design movements. A useful resource, but the entries are quite sparse:


Also, a time line of design movements here

I have to admit that I needed to look up “Memphis” as I couldn’t remember what it referred to. On the wikipedia entry for the group it describes their work with delightful poetry as “a shotgun wedding between Bauhaus and Fisher-Price” (Bertrand Pellegrin)

Memphis-Milano Design Collection


Hi @Adam_Jefford and @Nick_Kelly, I missed this post last year and have just stumbled across it. My life previous to teaching was architecture. I’m not sure if anything further has begun on this but happy to help if I can.


I am loving the work the Vincent Ryan has done on designers.designer_chart_cards1.pdf (5.4 MB)
designer_fob1.pdf (4.1 MB)
designer_infor_exercise1.pdf (7.6 MB)
designers_booklet3.pdf (6.3 MB)
Hope others find these useful.


I agree with @mscduff , if you are new to designers and design movements, Vincent Ryan could be a good place to start. Even if it’s just looking at the style of questions he asks students when analysing designers work.


This may also be helpful.


Hi everyone,

This is up on the The Art Career website at the moment, I found it really interesting, It may help others too.


Hi Nick,

I had my year 10 Design Technology class developing knock-down lamps. They had to get their inspiration from one of 6 design styles, Memphis was one of them. I talked to them about Ettore Sottsass and how he tempered his style when he was designing his kettle for Alessi. One of my students commented something equally poetic when they said “projectile vomiting M&M’s”!!