70’s Architectural Illustration

February 7, 2011 § 4 Comments

I’m not huge into the 70’s, especially the furniture (just try to ignore it), but the architecture itself is brilliant. I love A frame houses, domes and everything unique like that.

Notice the above all have sloping ceilings with windows at the top to let lots of light in? That’s the how it should be done.

Via Moddog’s Flickr, scans from Popular Science, I believe.


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§ 4 Responses to 70’s Architectural Illustration

  • Karl says:

    I always remind myself to be careful when I look backwards in time for inspiration.

    I mean, there’s a lot of terrible design around today, and a lot of good stuff. The interesting part is that this applies to way back when, as well.

    In just about every arts course I’ve ever been in at some point a tutor will have handed my a sheet and said “go and check this out”

    Without fail, there will be one each year that showcases some utterly horrible, gruesome design work from the 1950s or so. I can’t help but feel a little sorry for my tutors sometimes when I see them slowly clicking around art sites like they’re playing a game of chess. Their tastes are usually outdated, but now and again they’d recommend me a gem of vintage design, much like these illustrations.

    And then there are the “founding fathers” sort of inspiration which you find everywhere – Rams for products, Bauhaus for architecture, Chanel for fashion, whatever. I suppose these are essentially the best types of creations simply because they managed to be timeless. They changed the world in some way, and be it through practicality (for products) or originality (for art) they earned their place in the metaphorical hall of fame.

    Anyway, I’m always a sucker for paneled wood, and this is the first time I’ve really seen it used outside of a typical British manor house sort of style. I suppose the illustrations depict where paneled wood was starting to be used as a useful and prefabricated material. Still, it’s used really nicely in conjunction with all the angles and windows. Kind of ahead of its time, really.

    The actual illustrated style is really nice, too. The fourth one is my favourite.

    apologies for what I’m sure is an incredibly incoherent rant

    • Brennan says:

      Haha, feel free to rant all you want in the comments; they’re pretty empty otherwise…

      I definitely agree that there is no one era of perfection. Even Braun had bad products, no one is ever 100% perfect. Does that mean we disregard the whole series, nah, we learn from what was successful and perhaps even more from what was not.

      And like I said in the post, the furniture and aesthetics in the 70’s, in my opinion, are extremely dated now. Of course style will recycle things back into a more modern approach (which there are numerous examples of coming out right now) but for the most part, things will be phased out.

      Design, but more specifically this concept of ‘fashion’, which isn’t always clothes but just this overwhelming style of an era, is a sort of an evolutionary process. People see what was good and use those elements, and (hopefully) take out the bad stuff to make it better.

      The problem with the evolution right now is that no one actually cares about the fundementals of it anymore. Now everything is becoming so cheap and China-made that the design itself suffers greatly. The real problem, is that is the part that gets taken into the evolutionary ‘good’ because it was very capitalistically economical. People are making more money now. That’s great, of course. But eventually people will get sick of it. I’m just kind of ahead of that curve.

      • Karl says:

        Yeah. I suppose what everyone in this realm should be striving for is just to be the very best – trying to produce work of a higher quality than their peers.. unfortunately it’s not entirely black and white and concepts like originality factor in (which in a practical sense is rather stupid)

        A very open ended question, I know, but what do you think design philosophy will be in 200, 500 years?

  • Brennan says:

    That is a really hard thing to say, since I believe that even now we’re running out of completely unique ideas. I don’t mean there won’t be new inventions or discoveries, because there definitely will be, but as far as using the things we have, there are only so many shapes you can make things into.

    Which means that the philosophy itself has to evolve into something.

    I believe, that like we look upon the renaissance and enlightenment periods now, they will look on us and see the things we’re doing now as a very defined era. This is one of information. The internet has revolutionized our design much like the industrial revolution changed the making of designs and materials technology etc.

    You mention originality which I believe is going to become a major issue coming up. I’m on the side (personally) of recycling designs for the benefit of the object itself. People look at Jonathan Ive’s work at Apple as a ripoff of Dieter Rams. I see a designer who saw the genius of another designer and decided to use it because it is the best or ‘pure’ form of that object.

    I personally dislike designers who produce ridiculous design in the name of originality. Like Lady Gaga has to be increasingly bizarre to make a name for herself, designers come up with increasingly bizarre shapes that ultimately detract from the purity of the object they’re designing.

    Perhaps the iPod has it’s shape because that is actually the best shape, regardless of what Rams’ radios looked like 50 years earlier. It’s not really a rip off if it’s for the benefit of the product. It’s design purity.

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