Atompunk: Cold War Modern

24 Apr

To recap: in the beginning there was steampunk, a fantastical, futuristic reimaging of the victorian era.

It was only logical that the period afterwards, the 20s to WWII, would have its sci fi devotees, and it has become Dieselpunk.

1945 to about 1975 is Atompunk. Naturally, this period, as well as the others already have a name: the atomic age for instance, and design from the era is called Cold War Modern. I would point out that the term Atompunk does not rename the era any more than steampunk renames the victorian times. Atompunk denotes either a speculative fiction reimaging of the tropes of this period OR deals with this period’s own imagining of the future.

Over the course of doing this blog i have gained a small fetish for Atompunk (i have already envisioned the music i would make if i were to ever make an Atompunk Opera. Not saying i will, just that i hear it. Who knows.)

Thus today we feature design that falls under the Cold War Modern period, when designers for home furnishings were trying to boldly stake out the future in no small way as part of the obsessive dick size contest the west and the soviets were engaged in. Both sides insisted THEY were the future and attempted to lay claim to the look of it.

Yeah, There’s a lot of chairs. The cold war was really fought out the hardest and bloodiest in the chair manufacturing sector. It’s the little known behind the scenes story of the cold war years. (there’s a short story in there somewhere…)

I KNOW! MORE F****** chairs! I’m telling ya, the gddam chair market was insane. You want to know what all those spies were sneaking in and out of east berlin for, it was information on motherf******’ chairs.

Meanwhile there soviets were building THIS:

But the west retorted with this punch to the soviets’ balls:


The soviets retorted by making serious fun of these truly idiotic sunglasses:

I’m telling you, it was just nasty.

But in the end, a 6 year old Steve Jobs saw this baby, soiled his little pants and began the long walk towards the Coming Of The Ipod.

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Posted by on April 24, 2012 in Uncategorized


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