Sixties : Decade of Design Revolution
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Design in the 1960s represented energy and fun: it was dynamic, cheap and cheerful and it prompted a consumer 'youthquake' revolution. Op Art fabrics, plastic chairs, inflatable houses, mini skirts, paper furniture, pop glass and psychedelic posters were all part of the design phenomenon. When Mary Quant launched 'the look' with her range of ready-to-wear fashions in the early 1960s, its style, like the Habitat interior look launched shortly afterwards, was immediately appropriated by the trendy younger generation. The Sixties traces the transition from the organic, fluid lines of the 'Contemporary' design of the 1950s to the pure geometry of 'the look' and the styles that proliferated throughout the momentous events of the decade. In all fields of design - architecture, ceramics, glass, textiles and furniture - circular and rectilinear motifs were seen to represent futuristic space-age design. The many illustrations include contemporary and avant-garde advertising from the design magazines of the period through to the stunning architectural photography of Julius Shulman. The book further examines the rise of the global design superpowers of the 1960s. While the United States undoubtedly led in the field of architecture, and the Scandinavian style remained a potent force in the applied arts, Britain, at the centre of the fashion and popular culture explosion, and Italy, adding a whole new dimension to furniture and plastics, were emerging as the two new international design superpowers.