13 September 2011

Our Friend The Atom: Understanding The Atomic Age

I just have one thing to ask. Where was this video when I was in school? came out in the 50's and I was in school in the 80's and 90's. Why didn't they show this to me? I would have actually paid attention, and even more important... Understood.

This video though, does more than explain how the atom works. Sure, it does have some fairly unsettling parts were people are walking around with Uranium and a Geiger Counter like they are harmless. Also, there is the part about how spreading nuclear reactive debris may be a way of producing bigger and better crops, and livestock. Shucks though, those are not important. What's a little radiation amongst friends? More importantly is the way this video makes certain aspects of Mid-Century design even more clear. I mean, who cares about contaminated food, when we can talk about art.

In this video we see just how the focuses of the 50's and early 60's shaped the Mid-Century design community. Specifically speaking, the modern genre of said community. Thru the studies of these ever impressive organisms that where so new to everyone and even more important to the future, these designers copied what they saw. Sure they elaborated on them, but they did in large, copy nature.

Over the past 5 or so years, I've read and heard a lot about the organic designs that these Mid-Century designers used in there furniture, architecture, and art. However, while I never doubted it, it just never clicked what organic designs they were copying or inspired by.  This video not only taught me about the atom, but about the motion and effect on molecules. Thru these things, Mid-Century design became even more apparent to me. Are you a true enthusiast of these retro designs of the Mid-Century/Eames Era? Then, you have to really check out this video (embedded below).

On top of everything else, I found out that there is a very cool vintage book that Disney put out by the same name. I looked it up and there are a number of different prints. Some can be found on Ebay while Amazon seemed to be the only other real good option that I saw. I've really got to quit finding new books with cool Mid-Century illustrations in them. I might just end up buying something...

In case you were wondering. I saw a lot of how Eames, Charles Harper, and others were clearly influenced. 

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