Famous associations have offered creators the perfect scaffold to design fantasy environments, says Chris Hall
Caligula throwing “states parties ” ,” was how the funk musician Rick James described the legendary Studio 54 in New York, which opened in 1977. There was a cocaine snorting” Man and the Spoon” aspect that they are able to pitch from the ceiling when required, there are still slews of cash in the back chamber, unisex lavatories and stunts like Bianca Jagger riding a horse on the dancefloor led by a naked soul covered in gold glitter.
The key thing about Studio 54, which features in a new expo about world society culture at Vitra Design Museum, was its adaptability. It could become a different imagination environment to act as backdrop for the outrageous outfits and theatre of the working party goers- such as when four tonnes of glitter were descent from the club’s ceiling on New Year’s Eve or when the fashion designer Valentino had a circus-themed birthday party with sand and mermaids on trapezes.
” The 60 s and 70 s viewed the rise of the idea that you don’t layout a nightclub, you producing the negligible blueprint components to make a nightclub ,” says Catharine Rossi, a blueprint historian at Kingston University, who has co-curated the exhibition.” What’s important is not the physical seat- really the nightclub is just a container. Clubs are made through igniting and sound, psychotropic pharmaceuticals and people .”
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