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Art deco's lasting legacy in Asia

Jazz Age brought iconic design style to Shanghai, Mumbai, Tokyo

This art deco mansion in Shanghai was designed by Laszlo Ede Hudec, who also designed the city's landmark Park Hotel.

Nearly a century ago, a new style swept into the design vocabulary of the world. Clearly distinguished by the use of vivid colors and geometric shapes, art deco -- short for arts decoratifs, and initially called style moderne -- was introduced to the world in 1925 at an industrial design exhibition in Paris.

In Paris and Brussels, though, art deco style had already come into vogue, and later spread to other parts of Europe and the world in the immediate years after the expo. Atul Kumar, founder of the documentation and conservation project Art Deco Mumbai, says, "The expo fired the imagination of the most influential designers and architects of the time. It was about clean geometric motifs, with straight lines and elegant curves, and not ornate and carved like earlier styles, and people embraced it readily."

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