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Retro Futurism

March 4, 2009
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Posted by Cara McKinley

Unfortunately for all of us, people’s visions for the future are often much more exciting and interesting than what actually happens.  During the first half of the twentieth century, people’s opinions of the future were optimistic, to say the least (flying cars, robots that do your housework, rayguns). Now that we’re past the time when these things were supposed to be reality, they’ve become a sort of nostalgic vision of the future. In the 1980’s someone coined the term ‘retro futurism’ to describe this genre.

In the future, you have to lay down to drive your car.

In the future, you have to lay down to drive your car.

Syd Mead, a conceptual retro-futuristic illustrator who also helped design the sets for the movies Tron, Blade Runner, and Alien, has created some of my favorite visions of the future. His illustrations are sleek, saturated neon landscapes that often feature some sweet rides that sort of reek of the 80’s. See more of his work here on Flickr.

I’m still waiting for my flying car.

Categories → Design & Culture
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