essays by Matthew Bialecki, Christian Gladu, Jill Kessenich, Jim McCord, Su Bacon
"Could anyone have predicted in the early 1920s, when the original Arts & Crafts movement died out, that it would enjoy a revival that would start some fifty years later and last longer than the original movement?" So begins architect Matthew Bialecki's introduction to Gibbs-Smith's The New Bungalow. In this and other essays, the authors investigate not so much the classic designs and styles of the American Arts & Crafts movement, but rather their modern and contemporary reinterpretations in architectural, interior and furniture design.
As Bialecki points out, A&C style "has evolved into a national style phenomenon," where cheap and often poorly-made "Mission-style" furniture is available even at big-box retailers, and local restaurants and hotels across the country are designed in modernized variants of the Prairie, Craftsman and Mission aesthetic. Bialecki, in the first essay, proposes that a modern proto-luddite rejection of the mass-produced-in-appearance (which also, ironically, drives sales of mass-produced faux-Craftsman goods) might be promoting the increasing popularity of nature-based architecture, specifically the Craftsman-styled open plans that emphasize natural materials, light and landscape. (read the rest of the review after the link, below)