The movement shares with that of the Arts and Crafts the concern of having non-period-imitative styling, looking rather to nature and organic form for inspiration. It was most effective in the production of utility goods, for example fabrics and books. It entered into architecture through use in decorative elements in public buildings having utility functions and commercial concerns particularly in the interiors of cafe's, department store and libraries. Some extant South African examples are Green Hanson Hotel (1901, originally the Imperial and now incorporated into the Inn-on-the-Square, architect: Parker), Tudor Chambers (1904, Pretoria; John Ellis), Port Elizabeth Public Library (1902; architect H Cheers [British]).
In Northern Europe the term is Jugendstijl, Arte joven in Spain, Arte nova in Portugal, Arte nuova in Italy, and Nieuwe kunst in the Netherlands.