The author of Blowup goes back to the future to follow the evolution of space-age design: from its optimistic conception in the 1950s to its decline in the 1970s and its retro revival today.
The Soviet-American race to the moon ignited a worldwide obsession with outer space and futuristic living that was manifested in the era’s architecture, design, and popular culture—and reflected in everything from furniture to postage stamps, fashion to children"s toys. With hundreds of illustrations and a lively text, Sean Topham reveals the countless ways the galactic frontier invaded every aspect of daily life: in household objects and haute couture, advertising and comic books, plastics and interior design, private homes and public buildings. He explains how artists’ conceptions of the future influenced history and were in turn shaped by events for decades to come. As Topham charts the rise and fall of futuristic design through the work of Eero Aarnio, Joe Colombo, Verner Panton, Pierre Cardin, Courrèges, Paco Rabanne, Archigram, Haus-Rucker-Co, Matti Suuronen, John Lautner, Adrian Frutiger, among many others, he reveals how the era’s euphoric energy gave way to a more anxious uncertainty. He also questions whether today’s passion for futuristic design is purely retro-chic—or the dawning of a new fascination with space-age culture. Entertaining and informative, this is a nostalgic look forward to a remarkably inventive era that seems sometimes innocent, sometimes prescient, but always inspiring.