Design

Upstate New York was a far cry from Washington, D.C. and Capitol Hill, where I had spent the last two years taking in the culture and politics of the Nation’s Capitol. But being the restless spirit that I was, I decided it was time to go back to school. Less than challenging and low paying jobs and a desire for something more propelled me to New York. In my usual “eenie meenie miney mo” fashion, I picked three Upstate New...

Game designer Seth Roback was raised in 1970s southern California and was considerably influenced by Disneyland, Googie architecture, and Jay Ward cartoons. Today, Roback resides in Seattle and has taken his love of mid-20th century pop culture and turned it into his first board game, Swinging Jivecat Voodoo Lounge, which is currently crowd-funding on Kickstarter. Here’s what he had to say when he discussed his new game with Ultra Swank’s Baron von Swankenstein. BVS: How long have you been a...

I have always felt that there is something cosy and homey about the color schemes of the 1970s. Dark and powerful earth colors dominated the design of the corporate, home and commercial western world. From shopping malls, to the basement den to the airport. So, follow us as we visit some airports of the period to experience what checking in was like in the 1970s. American author Tom Wolfe labeled the 1970s as “the Me Decade”. He based this on...

The Time & Life Building, located at 1271 Avenue of the Americas, were designed by the Rockefeller family’s architects, Harrison & Abramowitz & Harris. The iconic building was completed in 1959, and actually serves as base of operations for fictional ad-agency Sterling Draper & Partners. Let’s explore further. It is evident by looking at these photos that the set designers of AMC’s Mad Men took cues and inspiration from the Time & Life building. Everything from the furniture, to the...

Ever wondered what it would be like to work at Sterling Cooper & Partners along Don Draper and Peggy Olsen? Are you an admirer of the mid-century furniture, wallpaper and design? Well, look no further. Ultra Swank has jetted off to New York to take a tour of the latest incarnation of the home of Mad Men… and women. Both the agency’s name, look and location has changed over the years, but the iconic and impeccable mid-century style of it...

Midcentury advertising art isn’t usually synonymous with Alaska. Manufacturing and production in the largest state of the Unites States of America has never been on the same level as the other states, partially due to a short growing season and partially due to the high costs of shipping. Nonetheless, Alaska has produced some goods for consumers that included: canned fish, ice cream, milk, and batteries. Despite the great distance from the “then territory” of Alaska (not made into a state...

Interior design is an ever evolving industry. What we know today isn’t the way things have always been. Throughout the years our ideas of home decoration have developed and progressed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a little inspiration in trends from years gone by. Much like fashion, interior trends always come back around and right now we’re taking on vintage styles to give our homes a fresh, inviting look. When we use the umbrella term ‘vintage’ it’s hard...

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