Journal Article

The Representation of Modern Domesticity in the Belgian Section of the Brussels World’s Fair of 1958

Fredie Floré and Mil De Kooning

in Journal of Design History

Published on behalf of Design History Society

Volume 16, issue 4, pages 319-340
Published in print January 2003 | ISSN: 0952-4649
Published online January 2003 | e-ISSN: 1741-7279 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jdh/16.4.319
The Representation of Modern Domesticity in the Belgian Section of the Brussels World’s Fair of 1958

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In many Western countries the post-war period, up to the end of the 1950s, was characterized by a broad social, political and cultural debate about ideal or 'good' modern living. This debate had its roots in the period between the wars, but developed extensively after the war, owing to the enormous housing demand and expanding industrialization. This article aims to shed light on the lesser-known dissemination of modernist housing models in Belgium in the 1950s. More specifically, it focuses on the representation of domestic ideals in the Belgian Section of the Brussels World's Fair of 1958, an important breakthrough in the slowly developing popularization of contemporary design in Belgium.

Several participants in the debate on good homes were present in the Belgian Section of the Brussels World's Fair the Institut National du Logement, national societies for architects and building firms, a selection of avant-garde designers, etc. The presentations by these actors, clustered into several 'groups', reveal a set of independent approaches to the home. It is the thesis of this article that this heterogeneous promotion of modern domesticity in the Belgian Section of Expo 58 tellingly reflects the then fragmented national discourse on contemporary living.

Keywords: 1950s—1958 World's Fair; Belgium; domestic display; expositions universelles; model homes

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: History of Art ; Art Forms ; Industrial and Commercial Art ; Art Styles

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