Space Age: design in the 70s (English version)

During the 70s, Japanese design began addressing the needs of the customers, studying social behaviour and trying to have an influence on lifestyle. Thanks to this new kind of attention, Sony invented the Walkman in 1979, which perfectly represented the modern and more and more dynamic way of life, and which also activated the spiral of miniauturization that will influence the following decades.


These years also saw a process of aesthetic homogenisation concerning electronic devices, with exceptions that would reveal that kind of design based on the contrast between aluminum and black plastic, which is now the new trend among famous brands of notebooks. There were new stylistic waves of design, which translated ideas of the future, let's think of the first flip alarm clocks that very well represent that 70s movement called “Space Age”. This particular style, characterized by pop taste and a desire for avantgarde, catches on in between the end of the 60s and the beginning of the 70s, following the interest for the space adventures that, acocrding to the public opinion, were the beginning of a creative and progressive creativity. We find examples of this particular style of design within the movies and TV shows of the time, 2011 by Stanley Kubrick or UFO S.H.A.D.O. Lamps looking like missiles, TV looking like austronauts helmets, shell shaped armchairs, Hi-Fi compact systems, all these items were realized during these years, as if they were intended to be housed inside a space craft. In a certain sense, this trend tended to transform our living rooms into spaceships; round shapes and plastic take advantage on the more linear forms of the previous decade, creating plain, asperity free surfaces.The most important designer of this time are the Italian Joe Colombo, the Danish Verner Panton and the Finnish Eero Aarnio.
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