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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


 

The world of the future

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Pages from the Official Souvenir Program for the Seattle World’s Fair, 1962. Very typical corporate design by RT Matthiesen and Associates but not bad for all that. The pages give an overview of the exposition, punctuated by ads from its sponsors, while the text sets forth the purpose of the event to give a taste of life in the new Space Age. NASA’s Project Mercury missions were ongoing during the time the fair was being planned so the ethos of the event was very much tied to the obsessions of the time, obsessions fuelled by Cold War competition, and a desire for an automated future. The technocratic side of things is very much in evidence in the booklet which trots out the usual utopian vision of life in “Century 21″ as being one of short working-hours, a great deal of leisure, personal air-cars, and revolving houses. My childhood encyclopaedias were filled with this sort of thing which has only given me a lifelong suspicion of any kind of wild futurology, positive or negative. Those books were also filled with pictures of monorails, and the Seattle exposition had a monorail all of its own which I’m pleased to see is still running today.

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Previously on { feuilleton }
Space Needle USA
Gigapixel ArtZoom

 


 

Posted in {architecture}, {cities}, {design}, {science fiction}, {science}.

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2 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by herr doktor bimler

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    My childhood encyclopaedias were filled with this sort of thing which has only given me a lifelong suspicion of any kind of wild futurology
    I remember those books. All the maquettes of the City of the Future involved skyscrapers constructed from coloured perspex.

  2. #2 posted by John

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    I remember the city of Brasilia in one book as a precursor of our Modernist future.

 


 

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