Are there similarities between Steampunk and Art Deco?

Updated: Mar 25

Did you know there are some interesting similarities between Steampunk and Art Deco?

First, various Steampunk creators (myself included) have taken a lot of inspiration from aesthetic movements from the late 19th to early 20th century Art Deco, Arte Nouveau, and Medievalism. Especially in board and video games, these aesthetics are used to separate various factions for instance. But also for architecture.


This is a concept of my character ‘S-06′ from the Wrench in the Machine. Heavily influenced, by 1920’s flapper girl fashion that used similar principles the Arte Deco Interior Design. What I like in Arte Deco is how it uses materials to make contrasts rather than paint/color.

As for the similarities. They are both anachronistic and heavy on the Story Telling. Arte Deco is inspired by the architecture of ancient lost civilizations like Babylonian, Egyptian, and the Aztecs. They reimagined wall reliefs, patterns, etc.


Arte Deco was also intended for grand palaces of the age of industry. It used advances in technology and materials to make reflective surfaces and other effects to make a contrast. Being in an Arte Deco building was supposed to be an experience in itself, just like Steampunk.


The Steampunk city of Arkology uses a lot of Arte Nouveau to make everything look organic and like an undersea world.

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