Famous societies have offered creators the perfect stage to design fantasy environments, says Chris Hall
Caligula shedding “states parties ” ,” was how the funk musician Rick James described the famous Studio 54 in New York, which opened in 1977. There was a cocaine snorting” Man and the Spoon” aspect that would descend from the ceiling when required, “theres gonna be” stacks of cash in the back room, unisex bathrooms and stunts like Bianca Jagger journeying a horse on the dancefloor led by a naked serviceman covered in amber glitter.
The key thing about Studio 54, which features in a brand-new exhibit about world-wide organization culture at Vitra Design Museum, was its adaptability. It could become a different fiction medium to act as backdrop for the disgraceful garbs and theatre of the party goers- such as when four million tonnes shimmer were fallen from the club’s ceiling on New Year’s Eve or when the clothes designer Valentino had a circus-themed birthday party with sand and mermaids on trapezes.
” The 60 s and 70 s accompanied the rise of the idea that you don’t design a nightclub, you deliver the minimal designing points to make a nightclub ,” says Catharine Rossi, a intend historian at Kingston University, who has co-curated the exhibition.” What’s important is not the physical seat- genuinely the nightclub is just a container. Clubs are made through lighting and sound, psychotropic doses and parties .”
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