Designing Night World – DisneyRollerGirl

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Michael Abramson MMX Gallery

Is it me or is there a wave of disco nostalgia in the air?

The Antonio Lopez film has put the hedonistic 70s on our radar and there seems to be a rash of disco-centric exhibitions doing the rounds. Michael Abramson: Tales from the South Side, 1970’s Chicago Clubs is a photo exhibition about to end its run at London’s MMX Gallery. With names like Perv’s House and the High Chaparral, Chicago’s discos boasted some very chic patrons, many of whom are captured by photo journo Abramson in full false-lashed, spread-collared splendour.

Here’s a taster…

Michael Abramson Courtesy MMX Gallery
Michael Abramson Courtesy MMX Gallery
Michael Abramson Courtesy MMX Gallery

Meanwhile, I’m sorely tempted to book a weekend off for the Night Fever. Designing Club Culture 1960 – Today exhibition in Basel, Germany. This examination of the link between design and club culture over the last 60 years features bygone delights such as the Keith Haring mural-ed Palladium, Ben Kelly’s industrial Hacienda and poster design by Ivan Chermayeff for Electric Circus (below).

They’re all shown in Frank Gehry’s topsy-turvy Vitra Design Museum alongside more recent design examples such as a retro-futuristic mobile DJ booth called ‘The Mothership’ and OMA’s (unrealised) proposal for a Ministry of Sound redesign. In short, plenty to see here if you’re a clubland nostalgist, or perhaps a bright young thing with ambitions to realise a fresh vision for a new generation of club kids.

Night Fever Vitra Design Museum
Night Fever Vitra Design Museum - Akoaki, Mobile DJ Booth, The Mothership, Detroit, 2014 - Photo Anya Sirota and Jean Louis Farges, in collaboration with Bryce Detroit
Night Fever Vitra Design Museum - Guests in conversation on a sofa, Studio 54, New York, 1979 - Photo Bill Bernstein, David Hill Gallery, London
Night Fever Vitra Design Museum - Arata Isozaki, Palladium, New York, 1985
Night Fever Vitra Design Museum - Nightclub Les Bains Douches, Paris, 1990 - Interior design -Philippe Starck. Photo Foc Kan
10 Poster for the nightclub The Electric Circus, New York, 1967 - Design Chermayeff and Geismar - Courtesy Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar
Chen Wei- In the Waves #1, 2013 Chen Wei Courtesy of LEO XU PROJECTS, Shanghai
12 Ben Kelly- Interior view of Hacienda, Manchester

Michael Abramson: Tales from the South Side, 1970’s Chicago Clubs is at MMX Gallery in New Cross, London until Sunday 6th May.

Night Fever. Designing Club Culture 1960 – Today
is at Vitra Design Museum, Charles-Eames-Str. 2, D-79576 Weil am Rhein until 9th September 2018

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Credits to come
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

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