What’s your design alter-ego?

Get the lowdown on 6 key design movements and share your design alter-ego.

Are you a bit postmodern, or do you belong in the Bauhaus? We’ve put together a series of 6 short videos on different design movements. After you’ve watched them, take the test to discover your design alter-ego before sharing it with your friends.

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What’s your design alter-ego? Take the test at the bottom of this post.

Gothic revival

Gothic Revival was one of the most influential design styles of the 19th century. Revivalists adhered to the romantic notion that stuff could and should look more meaningful, with designs based on forms and patterns used in the Middle Ages.

Arts and crafts

This influential design movement began because people got fed up with machines. The Arts and Crafts movement promoted economic and social reform, sticking up for ordinary workers and craftspeople.


Bauhaus was a totally different type of art school, training students in many art and design disciplines, with the ultimate aim of unifying art, craft, and technology.


Modernism was a far-reaching ideology applied across virtually all forms of creative expression. The general rule was that function should always dictate form. The approach celebrated mankind’s intelligence, creativity and radical thinking, even if it sometimes verged on the absurd.

American industrial design

From the ashes of the Great Depression, American Industrial Designers brought us the age of mass consumption with their “utilitarian art”: sleek, sophisticated and beautiful objects that everyone wanted to own.


Less is more? Less is a bore! More than just an artistic style, Postmodernism was a mindset, a way of rejecting how we understand our world. Because the Postmodernists refused to see things as one thing or another, this blurring of boundaries had the power to bring about great social change.

Discover your design alter-ego

Fancy yourself a bit of a modernist? Or maybe your house is a bit more Bauhaus? Head over to OpenLearn to find out your design alter-ego.

These videos and the quiz were previously published in May 2013 on OpenLearn under the title ‘Design in a nutshell’. You should subscribe to our newsletter for more free courses, articles, games and videos.

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