Monday, 14 May 2012

vintage living - the 60s

An era of provocation, revolution and extremes - in society, fashion and design. But let's start with the beginning of the decade which was rather calm and in continuity with the principles already established in the decade before. 
The well known clear lines were still dominating the design and some classics of the 50s needed one decade to become popular.

_architecture classics
One famous example for design and architecture is Room 606, a microcosm of the SAS House by Danish architect Arne Jacobsen designed for the Scandinavian Airlines System at the dawn of the jet age. Today the SAS House has been reduced to a shadow of its original condition, but on the sixth floor of the hotel tower, a single guest room remains in its original condition, with the built-in woodwork, furniture, custom fabrics and surfaces that Jacobsen created for the 275 rooms of the SAS Royal Hotel. The room unites architecture and design classics which are still in production today, because of their timeless clear design language which made Scandinavian Design famous around the world.

design classics: "Egg chair" and "Swan chair"
_fabrics and textiles
A sudden change should happen in the middle of the 60s. While everyone was looking at the United States for new trends, suddenly the design world changed its capital to London. The "new generation" took over and while the hair of the young guys became longer and longer, the skirts became shorter and shorter.

Optical Art by Bridget Riley
Also the art scene experienced changes and was basically dominated by two directions: Op and Pop. 
The Op movement was based around the painter Bridget Riley and her geometrical psychedelic paintings. The patterns also conquered homes in form of carpets, curtains and furniture textiles.
The other direction of the anti establishment movement in art was Pop based on a hippie culture trying to create new spaces by establishing things the Modern style tried to ban before. Icon of this movement is for example Andy Warhol, famous for his Marilyn Monroe prints.

Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol
The Pop Culture with its two-dimensional graphics known from bolt posters and graphics, fabrics and colors, wild patterns and crazy perspectives conquered the design world. Fashion designers like Christian Dior and Mary Quant started to design their own home textile collections inspired by the new movement, though one of the most famous international textile producer is the Finnish company Marimekko with designers Maija Isola and Vuokko Nurmesniemi.

                            fabric "Kaivo" and "Unikko
by Maija Isola

But although England was the center of the new style movement, most of the high quality designs still came from abroad, like for example from Italy and Scandinavia. While the industry for synthetics was booming, designers like Joe Colombo, Verner Panton and Eero Aarnio created not just simple interior design but whole interior landscapes.

Ball Chair by Eero Aarnio
Interior Landscape by Verner Panton

The plastic material set the designers free to create every shape and use every color they wanted. This gave birth to objects oscillating between function and fun and it let designers dream of future living scenarios.

the creation of "Pony" by Eero Aarnio

For example the Finnish project of a round, prefabricated house called "Futuro" by Matti Suuronen. During the late 1960s and early 1970s fewer than 100 were built, but the distinctive flying saucer like shape and airplane hatch entrance has made the houses popular among collectors. 

Futuro no. 001 in Hirvensalmi in 1968
The design is a product of post-war Finland, reflecting the period's faith in technology, the conquering of space, unprecedented economic growth, and an increase in leisure time. 
It was designed by Suuronen as a ski cabin that would be “quick to heat and easy to construct in rough terrain.” The end result was a universally transportable home that had the ability to be mass replicated and situated in almost any environment.

Futuro interior
Today the finnish WeeGee Exhibition Centre has acquired the first ever mass-produced Futuro house (no. 001), which was owned by Matti Kuusla from summer 1968 to autumn 2011 and which was located in Hirvensalmi. After a careful resoratio, the Futuro is now again open to the public until the 16th of September 2012 as part of the Design Capital program of Helsinki.

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