Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Running out of Retro" article from Chicago Reader

an excerpt:

“No, I’m not a neo-60s hippie, I’m a neo-90s retro hippie,” which could be confusing and too much work. Or we could try to check our addiction to retro—but c’mon, that’s probably not going to happen.Our best option from here on out might be to embrace the ridiculously short turnover between run and rerun and let the snake finally start eating its own tail. If nothing ever goes away, nothing can really ever be recycled.

Miles Raymer's interesting article is about music, but I think that the same argument can also apply to design. It seems that the interior, graphic, and fashion design industry as a whole has not come up with any truly original concepts since the mid-1990's. Everything is a revival of some bygone era. My senior year of high school I was considered trendy. Did I buy all my clothes from the Delia's catalog or spring for designer gear from North Michigan Avenue? No. All I had to do was shop in the back of my mother's closet and wear things she had saved from the 1960's and 1970's.

So I do have an affinity for retro, which I am sure is also pretty obvious in my portfolio. But at the same time, I think it would be nice if it served as a counterpoint to the au courant designs of the moment. But nobody seems to know what that is anymore. Is there nothing new under the sun? Or has the whole notion of trendiness imploded? And can we even afford to follow the dictates of planned obsolescence anymore as our resources and landfill space dwindle? Perhaps the solution to all of this is green design. If everything is recycled, reused, and revived, then nothing is out of style and we will create an aesthetic that lives in the moment. And perhaps from that we will create the foundation for something that is truly original and relevant to our present time.

Running Out of Retro
Enjoy the 90s revival while you can—the space-time continuum is about to collapse.

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