There are perhaps three ways of looking at furniture: some people see it as purely functional and useful, and don’t bother themselves with aesthetics; others see it as essential to civilized living and concern themselves with design and how the furniture will look in a room – in other words, function combined with aesthetics; and yet others see furniture as a form of art.
In the past, designers of furniture usually worked for royalty, the nobility, landowners and rich merchants and so were not constrained by the limits of space, economy, or even practicality that inhibit the contemporary designer. Indeed, function was not the first consideration and interiors did not always have to be practical. In the Renaissance, for example, fine furniture and interiors were designed to show off not only the riches of the owners, but their learning, wisdom and good taste as well. No doubt, this attitude still exists among a number of the wealthy.
Apart from a brief period in the 20’h century when furniture designers mistook themselves for artists and sculptors, producing, say, chairs that were nice to look at, but impossible to sit on comfortably, modern designers have, for the most part, come to terms with the functional aspect of furniture. These days, a well-designed interior must be practical and exclude what is unnecessary. Limited space must be used imaginatively, and a sense of space and clarity is needed as a setting for efficient living. Therefore, in the modern home, furniture should fulfill a specific purpose, and need as little care and attention as possible. In addition to this, costs must be kept to a minimum because, these days, there are many luxuries competing for our attention. Function and economy, therefore, are of the utmost importance.
According to the text, how does modern furniture design differ from that of the past?
a) Practicality and economy are the most important considerations.
b) Designers are only employed by the wealthy.
c) Designers are primarily concerned with aesthetic appeal.
d) Modern furniture should need little looking after.
e) Making the best use of available space is important.
f) Furniture should be as decorative as possible.
Answer: a d e
b) is incorrect because this was true in the past.
c) is incorrect because it was only for a brief period in the 20th century that designers were mainly interested in aesthetic appeal.
f) is in correct because modern designers focus on the function of furniture, rather than on the decorative aspect.
a) is correct because the writer says: Function and economy, therefore, are of the utmost importance.
d) is correct because the writer says: … in the modem home, furniture should fulfill a specific purpose, and need as little care and attention as possible.
e) is correct because the writer says: Limited space must be used imaginatively, …