Curious Trends


Art Deco metropolis: the cityscape revisited

As the hierarchical structures of our society are broken down, it stands to reason that we’ll want to recall more stable, secure times, when every man knew his place. In some ways, the circumstances we currently find ourselves in are not dissimilar to those represented in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis - the 1927 film best known for its stylized, futuristic, Art Deco scenery – and the classic depiction of the age of the machine. For many of us, rapid changes in design and technology are frightening, and seen to be contrary to man’s basic instincts. Perhaps that’s why we’re seeing a resurgence in Art Deco styling - and the renewed influence of the familiar New York skyline on fashion, art, design and interiors?

Here are some recent examples of art and design inspired by the city skyscrapers of the metropolis. A common theme in each of these is the combination of old building design with modern ideas of beauty and unique styling:

Lladro’s recent Metropolis porcelain collection:

Young textile designer Kat Scott’s apocalyptic vision of the city as a victim of fate and natural forces:

Ceramic artist Jennie Hanrahan’s vision of the metropolis representing ‘life, death and the individual – both object and spectator consciously aware of looking and being looked at.’

Cushions and city print surface pattern design by Charlotte Emily Noakes:

Jewellery by Iris Nieuwenburg:

Sinead McGreevy’s drawings and collage inspired by architectural structures. Joanne Stoker’s Art Deco architecture inspired shoe collection. And Electric's New York skyline inspired shampoo bottles (below).

Young designer, Nadine Spencer’s cityscape chandelier. Spencer read books and watched old films about what the future would look like.. “The one that most influenced me was ‘Wasn’t the Future Wonderful’ by Tim Onosko. The ideas of how we would live were so bold and imaginative, so full of hope, that I wanted to represent that in my work.” The result is her idea of “A World of Yesterday’s Tomorrows… a fantastic utopia that sums up the dreams of a generation.” (see above, top and below)

And something from a little earlier - Sue Timney’s city inspired fabric:

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