Friday, 6 May 2011

I Have Seen the Future

Google Doodle recently highlighted the first Worlds Fair in London. It took place on 1 May 1851 in the Crystal Palace building at Hyde Park and was the idea of Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert. The World's Fair has been a regular event ever since, but one of the most salient expositions for me would have been the New York 1964 event, which highlighted industrial progress and looked forward to the future. Some of the exhibition materials highlighted the space age zeitgeist that gripped the world at the time, with forward thinking companies such as Ford and General Motors promoting new technological ideas. Futurama 2, a successor to GM's earlier 1939 exposition, featured an interactive 'train ride' through a huge diorama showing a world of the future.





Looking at some of the exhibits from the diorama, its fascinating to think that Century 21 designers visited the expo and took some inspiration from the vast jungle clearance and road making machines and the myriad vehicles on the huge superhighway.

2 comments:

  1. This World's Fair would be one of my destinations if I had a time machine at my disposal. And I suspect it may have had an influence on Century 21 designers. But ... it's interesting to look at old film footage on the History channels. I recall one (but not the name of the programme) with footage from the 1940s or 1950s, either Germany or Russia (yeah, this is pretty vague *grins*) ... which had a six-wheeled largely-glass-canopied car built for a parade of some kind. (It was real ... did it influence the FAB design?) And there are some machines from Nazi Germany which also put me in mind of Anderson designs. I wonder if design influences actually go back further than we might imagine?

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  2. well you cant keep a good idea down and a lot of the secret research that went on in nazi germany surfaced later under Operation Paperclip when the US employed the likes of Von Braun in the space programme. Also, a lot of designs result from a common 'meme'.

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