The Matrix Design


  • Günter Lattermann


Bakelite Style, compression moulding, design history, Machine Style, Mastaba Style, Matrix Design, Moderne, Modernism, ornament, plastics, Plastics Age, plastics history, pressed glass, ribbon, round corner, Streamline, synthetic resin, Zigzag Style


The term ‘Matrix Design’ is explained by developments in design and
architecture from the middle of the 1920s to the end of the 1930s, leading to an international design movement. This ‘Matrix Design’ typically exhibits as characteristic design elements among others round corner forms and/or often ribbed but sometimes also fluted ornaments.

Apparently because of the strong economic depression in the Weimar Republic, this process accelerated in Germany from 1929/30 onward in plastics design, realised by its long time forgotten pioneers. In the USA and Britain, plastics design proceeded lateron since 1933 by numerous, well-known designers.

The term ‘Matrix Design’ is carefully delimited and traded off against other terms found in literature, like ‘Form around 1930’, ‘Technodesign’, ‘minor, non-functional streamline’, ‘Machine Style’ or ‘Bakelite Style’.