In the Not So Distant Futura
Photo from Unsplash
Originally Posted On: https://www.garrettleight.com/blogs/stories/in-the-not-so-distant-futura
It’s easy to associate mid-century modern architecture with ideas of progress and the future. The sleek, geometric forms of modernist buildings evoke a sense of innovation, and the use of new materials of the time, like concrete and steel, gave the impression of a technologically advanced society. Utopia now!
Words by Lauren Steinberg
But how many sci-fi or horror flicks can you name that feature austere and unfeeling modernist structures? How about Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982)? Or Hitchcock’s North by Northwest (1959)? Or Tarkovsky’s Solaris (1972)? Or more recently, Joon-ho’s Parasite (2019)? The use of modernist architecture in these brooding narratives punctuates the alienation of the characters in their surroundings.
Film is not the only field to explore the underbelly of modernist philosophy. Superstudio, the radical Italian architectural group of the 1960s and 1970s, championed this message, producing wild collages, writings, furniture and practical objects as well as blueprints for architecture that wouldn’t, couldn’t, ever conceivably be built. Using unconventional design theory, Superstudio created an eccentric sci-fi universe in which they called out the uniformity of modernism as disempowering and soul-sucking of everyday city dwellers.
Superstudio’s collages layer geometric, futuristic forms in natural landscapes. Stealth mirrored structures grow out of sweeping mountain ranges and earth, sky and water are reflected in the structure’s surfaces. In these colorful, tranquil dream worlds, sheep graze on the lush grass around impossible architecture and humans skip through wildflower fields or are depicted in conversation and connectivity with one another. Inviting geometric planes bubble out of wide open spaces. It’s an optimistic interpretation of an alternate future; an uncanny world where organic and inorganic environments coexist in total harmony.
Superstudio never designed eyewear, but surely they would appreciate California Futura, GLCO’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection. A subtle nod to the collective’s collage works, SS’23 is futuristic yet time-honored; sleek yet playful. Riddled with personality and eye-catching details, it’s a collection designed for the individual, not the masses. Collection colors are inspired by a space age palette (think “Solar Punk” earth tones, “Desert Wave” burnt sienna, and “Super Surface” mossy greens). Patterned filigree is presented in a 3D grid design and new plaques are something of a cross between pure geometric forms and unique organic shapes.
Try wearing OG Freddy P, a new thick and square optical silhouette, while tending to your spaceship greenhouse. On the other hand, chunky GL3030 Sun (in any one of its colorful options), is ideal for sporting your hover-board around the solar-system. GLCO is introducing frames for a bright new future