During the first half of 2011, I will be presenting the decades 1950-2010 and its design on the Finnish morning show Min Morgon. I love these sessions and I hope people will get something out of it. The images and videos embedded here are of course the property of Cityportal and YLE but I hope that they understand the reason for posting them here. There are unfortunately no English subtitles yet but I’ll get to it in time. Just enjoy the atmosphere and objects for the moment.
The 1950’s is all the rage again and I suppose it partly can be attributed to the media’s recent interest in the decade. I’m of course referring to shows such as Mad Men or films such as Revolutionary Road. You can see the influence it has on fashion and design, it the way that the current design is shaped by old ideals and how old models are yet again taken into production.
It was a time of prosperity and in a way the birth of the modern consumer culture. The US stood in the forefront as a beacon of how capitalism could serve the society best and with the new need for TVs and fridges came the need for new innovative product ideas. The 50’s innovation was a break with the old but it was supported by a solid knowledge of the craft. Starting in the late 40’s, a new more organic modernism saw the light of day and designers such as Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen became household names on the other side of the Atlantic, while Ilmari Tapiovaara and Tapio Wirkkala got their big break over here in Finland. Timo Sarpaneva‘s Orchid glass sculpture was chosen by House Beautiful as the “Most beautiful object in the world”. Skanno, Marimekko, IKEA’s concept and Vitra entered the market. Sweden held their H55 fair showing that a new way of living and decorating had arrived. It was truly a time of change.
I brought four main things to the studio: Kaj Franck’s Kilta ceramics, teak objects, Kaunis Koti magazines and the Antti Nurmesniemi pot. Check the Thinglink image tags below for more info and links.
As always there was the question on how to score at the thrift market. Although I’m surprised that the interest in the decade is still strong, this time I said that the market is fairly tapped out when it comes to 50’s design but that the crucial factor is knowledge of what to look for, here illustrated by the 1 euro Arabia wall plate. If you are looking for furniture then I believe that the coming years will feed the market with the leftovers from closed old libraries, factories and offices. This is of course only a qualified guess but looking at the structural changes in our society this is the conclusion you might draw.
I wasn’t all too happy with the 70’s episode, partly because I don’t like the decade and partly because the lack of structure in the 11 minut discussion. The 70’s were in my opinion a transitional period and it was only in the earlier and later part that we saw interesting developments. In the early 70’s the plastic rage was still in full effect and in the late 70’s we saw the emergence of anti-design.
The 1990’s / 2000’s / Beyond