Design is all around us, but the most outstanding pieces can be works of art in their own right. In 20th Century and Contemporary Design you will be guided through the great design objects and interiors of the long twentieth century, from the organic and spiritual forms of the Art Nouveau through to contemporary designers’ exploration of new materials and technologies. Understanding design art of the past is essential for interior design and collecting today, while for those who simply love design this course is a visual delight full of detailed imagery, history, and expert interpretation.
As befits a Christie’s course all works discussed are of the utmost quality, many of which have passed from original patrons, artists or artisans to reside in museums or galleries where they are appreciated as icons of innovation, and design classics. Each session is structured to give you an understanding of the cultural and historical context that influenced designers, the defining characteristics of the movement, major designers of the period and the way nations responded to and adapted the style. Sessions conclude with in-depth analyses of masterpieces and a significant interior. Throughout the course, special features give you access to those active in design today: David Gill, the major gallery owner; Sonja Ganne, chair of International 20th Century Decorative Arts at Christie’s; and Axelle de Buffévent of Christie’s partner Perrier-Jouët, showing students around their Maison Belle Epoque: one of the largest private collections of Art Nouveau design.
What you will learn:
You will consider what we mean by design and explore its impact on our lives
You will gain a solid understanding of the art of design from the 1850s to today, with a focus on Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Modernism, Mid-Century Modern, Pop, Post-Modern and Contemporary Design
You will be able to identify the major movements, styles and designers active during these periods
You will understand how styles shifted across nations, looking in detail at geographical expressions of each distinct style
You will look at how design objects influence interior design, providing useful insight and inspiration for contemporary designers
You will understand how developments in technology, art, architecture and more impacted the practice of designers and seeded innovation in their creations
You will enjoy a detailed exploration of masterpieces and period interiors
You will look at the value of design objects, and understand how valuations are reached
In a series of special features, you will be introduced to the stories of those active in the sale of works of design, in collaborating with contemporary designers, and in curating an important private collection
Online courses are designed for students to study when it is most convenient for them. Our pre-recorded lectures are filmed with documentary-style production values, taking you on a narrative-led journey through your chosen subject.
Each module's lecture lasts for approximately one hour.
Our courses are arranged in modules, containing your lectures and special features. Each week, a new module will open for you to study, allowing you to explore the content at your own pace. Typically, our courses consist of six modules overall.
During your time on the course, your Tutor will provide:
Frequent art world announcements.
Opportunities to ask questions and request tutor guidance.
Tutor-initiated networking discussions with icebreaker questions and art world news.
Art History courses have optional written assignments with detailed and supportive individual feedback to help develop ideas and enrich analytical skills and understanding.
Art Business and Luxury courses have optional multiple-choice assignments to consolidate learning and track progress.
Handouts and English subtitles are provided to reinforce your learning.
Networking and knowledge-share opportunities with fellow online course participants and alumni.
You have three weeks after the course has finished to complete your assignments and discuss the course with your tutor.
All video lectures and course materials remain available to students for six months after assignments close.
If you complete all the assignments and complete the course, you will receive a Certificate of Completion. Certificates are not available for self-directed courses.
Frequent livestreamed seminars for students and alumni on topics that span the art world. Seminars are led by alumni, your tutor, and art world professionals.
The course will require between two to three hours of study time per week. There will be further reading and weekly assignments.
The course is facilitated through an online learning environment that is compatible with most modern browsers. It is the responsibility of students to have the proper hardware and software required to participate, along with access to WiFi. The basic technical requirements can be found in the FAQs.
What I liked best about the course was the way it was structured and illustrated, the masterpieces, period interiors, and special features (all were so interesting, and I must admit I really enjoyed the wise and rich experience of Philippe Garner!) And of course the tutor’s amazing tutoring and engagement!
I loved the elaborate feedback and enthusiasm from the tutor, this really motivated me to bring out the best in me and put a lot of effort in my assignments. I also loved the way the course was structured, the lectures were really clear and loved listening and watching them. For me, it was the perfect way to learn more about design!! Just the perfect balance between independent learning and the help from the tutor!
Each module was very well organized. I appreciated that each session was broken out into separate subsections like Cultural Context, Historical Context, etc. It was very helpful to be able to link the pieces to specific movements or periods in history. The visuals in each recording were very well done.
This is as near to perfect as an online course can be.
I would really recommend the way of teaching and learning. I learned a lot and it was just the perfect balance between independent learning and doing everything on your own pace/watch it whenever you want and between the interaction with the tutor and other students and assignments. For me it was the perfect way to do a course next to everyday life ;) LOVED IT!!
I enjoyed the assignments best, mainly due to interacting with a specialist tutor. Despite it being the first time I have written any kind of academic answer in our 25 years, I enjoyed that they helped me consolidate what I had learned online and allowed me to consider the subject more widely. I enjoyed exploring my own views and preferences which have definitely changed since studying this course. The tutor interactions have been fantastic; the tutor has been extremely friendly and responded quickly and generously with detailed feedback on my efforts which I have appreciated very much. I came to this course with no art knowledge at all but thanks to the tutor I have been able to approach the work with much more confidence than I ever thought possible.
The wide range of topics and items reviewed was the best part for me. It was a great introduction into so many styles and understanding where they fit in the historical context was very helpful.
This course expanded my vocabulary and opened my mind to how the design world impacts our environment. The information provided was a tip of the iceberg for what I can now take my time to delve into further. I loved it all!
I liked everything about it! The interest of the lectures, the video of the experts from Christie's and from outside the auction house, and finally the tutor who has been extremely helpful in giving feedback and providing us with a lot of materials. It's been a very good first experience for me.
Well structured course, it gave me a very good understanding of the matter.
People just need to be ready to spend time doing this. It's not something done in 1 hour. Frequently I probably took longer than 3 hours a week now that I think about it. So much information is great - just need time to process it too.
I enjoyed the instructor. The videos were packed with historical references and pictures. The course design enabled the viewer get to know the artists and their impacts on art and design. The course brought the human elements into the course.
It has been an incredible journey to discover design through the last approx 100 years. Thank you!
It has been my third course with Christie's Education and I enjoyed it as much as the others or perhaps even more. Differently from the areas of economics/law, this was purely for my own interest and enjoyment and had no connection whatsoever with my work or educational background, and it was really interesting to explore a completely new area for me. Sometimes you may not be able to plan and follow the course as you would have expected initially, but that is also the beauty with an online course that you can catch-up and view the sessions when you can. Thank you!
The course is really interesting and organized in an easy to follow way. I also liked that the assignments were not necessarily a quiz type of questions, but questions to answer which make you think and reflect on the course material.
The tutor was an incredibly attentive instructor and she clearly put a lot of care into her comments to the assignments. I will certainly look further into the supplemental reading she recommended.