Famous associations have offered creators the perfect programme to design fantasy environments, says Chris Hall
Caligula throwing a party ,” was how the funk musician Rick James described the legendary Studio 54 in New York, which opened in 1977. There was a cocaine snort” Man and the Spoon” boast that they are able to descend from the ceiling when required, there are still slews of cash in the back room, unisex bathrooms and stunts like Bianca Jagger riding a pony on the dancefloor led by a naked humanity covered in gold glitter.
The key thing about Studio 54, which features in a brand-new exhibition about world-wide guild culture at Vitra Design Museum, was its adaptability. It could become a different imagination environment to act as backdrop for the outrageous attires and theatre of the party goers- such as when four tonnes of glitter were drooped 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 attended the rise of the idea that you don’t design a nightclub, you bringing the negligible blueprint components to make a nightclub ,” says Catharine Rossi, a layout historian at Kingston University, who has co-curated the exhibition.” What’s important is not the physical infinite- really the nightclub is just a container. Clubs are made through igniting and sound, psychotropic stimulants and beings .”
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