Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures


Are we ready for The Jetsons yet?

What better epitomizes the visionary futuristic-utopia of the 20th century than the Jetsons? Created in 1962 the prime-time animated sitcom took place in 2062… looking 100 years into the future. Besides the futuristic gadgets and gizmos-surely ahead of their time-the architectural influence is clearly that of Googie design. Including “upswept roofs, curvaceous, geometric shapes, and bold use of glass, steel and neon, Googie was also...

Cruisin’ to the Wich Stand – The Origins of Googie Design

The origins of “Googie” design can be traced back to the actual coffee shop designed by architect John Lautner and by the works of his contemporaries. Appearing first in commercial buildings and used primarily in designing restaurants, coffee shops, motels, gas stations and bowling alleys, as well as schools, churches, shopping centers and airline terminals, this style of design was directed at the masses for...

The Cocktail Nation Podcast

The Cocktail Nation

Memories, Modernism and Our Concepts of a Misremembered Future

The recent exhibit of Deborah Aschheim’s drawings and architectural installations at Edward Cella A+A focused attention to the iconic modernist landmarks of Southern California that once represented the future. Aschheim’s works documented these structures, once the symbols of Southern California’s utopian dreams, which are now forlorn, crumbling commercial towers, buildings, and centers. Treated for the most part as “unacclaimed” monuments of a distant era, Ascheim...

The World of Googie
Written by James Vaughan in Design

The World of Googie

It was with reluctance that I took on Ultra Swank’s assignment of a segment on Googie design. I am not an expert. Art historians and critics can be a vicious group. One false move and I could be forever condemned to an underworld of Louis the XIV basement rec. rooms accented with a million velvet Elvis paintings! Oh well, maybe they’ve got some Pepsi in...

Welcome to Fabulous Los Angeles Jetport

This is Los Angeles International Airport (Jetport), it was built in the late 1950s and was at the time one of the biggest airports in America. They first envisioned it to be even bigger in the anticipation of the “jet age” with lots of terminals and buildings connected through a huge steel-and-glass dome building but the plan was deemed unrealistic and scrapped. Instead the famous...

Hop On The Monorail to Century 21
Written by Chris Alm in Event

Hop On The Monorail to Century 21

I wish there were more expositions like the one held in Seattle in 1962. Going under the name Century 21, it showcased the best, brightest and most future minded technology available at the time – including pagers, exciting cars that looked like they could fly, various satellites and the NASA Mercury project to name a few. The grounds of the fair were divided into different...

Atomic Age Wallpaper
Written by Chris Alm in Design

Atomic Age Wallpaper

Whether you are redecorating your living room, planing on buying a mid-century modern flavored house or want to make your kitchen look more groovy, Bradbury & Bradbury Art Wallpaper has what you need. Their series of Atomic Age and Mod Generation wallpaper range from 1950s styled Googie patterns to exotic tropical Tiki to the revolutionary and psychedelic flower power look – perfect for any bachelor...

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