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Mid-Century modern is an architectural, interior, product and graphic design that generally describes mid-20th century developments in modern design, architecture, and urban development from roughly 1933 to 1965. The term, employed as a style descriptor as early as the mid-1950s, was reaffirmed in 1983 by Cara Greenberg in the title of her book, Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s (Random House), celebrating the style which is now recognized by scholars and museums worldwide as a significant design movement.
Many consider Frank Lloyd Wright's principle movement of organic architecture combined with Arts and Crafts as an American jumping point for the aesthetic of Mid-Century Modern, however one need only visit a Wright house's interior to realize the Mid-Century modern movement in the US was really an American reflection of the International and Bauhaus movements – including the works of Gropuis, Le Corbusier, and Mies Van Der Rohe. Though the American component was slightly more organic in form and less formal than the International Style it is more firmly related to it than any other. Brazilian and Scandinavian architects were very influential at this time, with a style characterized by clean simplicity and integration with nature. Like many of Wright's designs, Mid-Century architecture was frequently employed in residential structures with the goal of bringing modernism into America's post-war suburbs. This style emphasized creating structures with ample windows and open floor-plans with the intention of opening up interior spaces and bringing the outdoors in. Many Mid-century houses utilized then-groundbreaking post and beam architectural design that eliminated bulky support walls in favor of walls seemingly made of glass. Function was as important as form in Mid-Century designs, with an emphasis placed specifically on targeting the needs of the average American family. Examples of residential Mid-Century modern architecture are frequently referred to as the California Modern style.