We know what 1930s objects look like: streamlined in black and chrome.
We know the look of the ‘60s: Space Age in plastic and DayGlo.
But how about 1970s design? That seems to be an era whose look we can barely pin down. Maybe the problem is that the ‘70s were a decade when the dominant aesthetic was an anti-aesthetic—a commitment to function (and funk) that was so extreme that looking good could be a drawback. Which of course just redefined what counted as looking good.
The space shuttle Enterprise, being unveiled July 19 in its new home at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York, may be the icon of a ‘70s love of pure function, as I’ve argued in the Daily Beast. But this Web gallery also presents other contenders for the so-bad-it’s-good prize. (The trophy should be shaped like Jethro Tull.)
– Blake Gopnik