Curved lines in design and architecture

Interior Design Trends
Anna Urban

The straight line is an invention of the human mind. The Universe is curved, the curve is natural and free, the straight line is artificial, forced. “What attracts me is the curved line, free and sensual. The curved line that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuous course of its rivers, in the clouds in the sky, in the body of the beloved woman. The whole universe is made of curves,” wrote Oscar Niemeyer, the world’s greatest architect who has made the sensuality of curves his unmistakable signature.

To find the first curved elements in architecture we have to go back to the Etruscans and then the Romans and the first arches. Untied from rigidity, the lines become softer and lighter and will influence the visual arts forever. Curves transform structural elements into dynamic, plastic, almost rhythmic, naturalistic elements and transform themselves into schools.

William Hogarth in the eighteenth century creates an S shape called “line of beauty”, identifying the double curve as the secret of harmony and success, William Morris in the nineteenth century, forerunner of English design, founder of ‘Art & Craft’, revisits the Gothic style through the curves, in a mix of noble arts, applied and artistic crafts creating the current known as Art Nouveau or Liberty in Italy.

Michael Thonet, the father of curved interior design, is considered the inventor of curved wood furniture and industrial production of furniture and accessories. His sinuous and elegant forms are now a school of thought and design.

The curved line has deep meanings, it recalls the forms of nature, of the sun and the moon, of the mother’s womb, it reassures, but it is also a powerful element of rupture of the status quo, of the strict classical canons of the extreme and geometrical rationalism.

Today we know that at a neurological level, curved lines trigger a sense of relief in those who observe them, unlike straight lines that are experienced as elements of alert, laying the foundations of neuro-aesthetics, the study of aesthetic and design elements and their effects on the human brain.

What words does the curve evoke? Sinuous, sensual, enveloping, soft… Curved is seductive, not necessarily beautiful in an objective sense, but attractive, fascinating.

Looking at Niemeyer’s works we are struck by their plasticity, by their fluid forms, by the harmony with the surrounding environment, sometimes imposed by the environment itself, sometimes created by the work. In his Casa das Canoas, architecture adapts to nature without modifying it and blends into the landscape, becoming a vehicle for the expression of beauty and poetry Zaha Hadid, an Iraqi architect and designer who died two years ago, said: “Life is not a grid. Take a natural landscape, there is nothing regular or flat, but everyone finds these places very pleasant and relaxing.  I think we should try to achieve this with architecture in our cities.

Undulating, folds and curves make a building or even more a piece of furniture something that goes beyond its function, an aesthetic expression of great impact.

A curved piece of furniture softens the edges and corners of a living space and in many cases solves its defects.  A central column in the room, narrow spaces in the kitchen or bedroom, large open spaces that require elements of great character and pleasing to the eye.  In many cases, a made-to-measure project with the inclusion of curved furnishings allows you to enrich the space by inserting extremely functional elements.

The only defect of the curved furniture is that it cannot be dropped in an undifferentiated way in every situation. Need for careful design, which takes into account every little detail of the environment, sometimes entering into the merits of purely architectural issues or plant engineering. A curved piece of furniture is always a personalised and unique solution. If this is what you are looking for, you can now have a tailor-made project. Make an appointment in the studio with the designers Midarte, make your dream come true.

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