Museum of Brands and Packaging
Museum of Brands and Packaging
Museum of Brands and Packaging
The Museum had a lot of interesting items, although I was expecting more. I mostly walked past all the items until 1940s as I was actually looking for space-related packagings. I did manage to find a lot of them, especially for space toys, in the 50s, 60s and 70s. The 50s had a really retro vibe to them: you can tell space exploration was still science-fiction. The designs were a little more over the top and colourful. In the 60s, the toys turn to something more realistic. There were actual models of the Moon capsule, inspired by the first steps on the moon. Finally, in the 70s, the toys were still space-related but mostly inspired by Star Wars and Star Trek: they had action figures, cereal packs with Spock's face on them...
It was interesting to see how the toys evolve, even though I didn't seem a real great evolution in the packagings. I will definitely use that research for the dollhouse package idea. I still need to make more research on dollhouses to get a better result.
I wanted to add I went to Hamleys and took some pictures of the dollhouses packages in the shop. I will probably mix the two styles together.
Protect and survive
Protect and survive
Protect and Survive
Basic info for context: public information booklet published by the British government between the 70s and the 80s. It told citizens how to survive a nuclear attack. It was a booklet but also a television series.
The television series would be a good inspiration for my fake ad animation idea. The episode are made with images, "maquettes" and some animation, with a voice over explaining each subject, and title cards. It focuses on giving the information to the people rather than making it look incredibly good. They gave advices to react to a nuclear attack, make a fallout shelter... I think it's really incredible that something like this was made and actually broadcasted. It really shows the atmosphere of the 70-80s. The sound is very synthesised, like the stuff you hear in old James Bond movies, and the logos are very simple, usually consisting of two colours only. The drawings are a bit more detailed but still quite simple so that the message can be understood clearly.
Basic info for context: (1969-) American photographer who builds diomaras in order to photograph them. She is inspired by catastrophes and apocalyptic scenarios.
Her work is really interesting in the sense that she actually "builds" her photograph subject. She creates a whole room and an atmosphere to go with it. It's really fascinating to see her process as well and it is a good source of inspiration for my dollhouse bunker idea. Her landscapes always look quiet and calm and there is no human presence whatsoever or an explanation as to why there isn't anyone. But you get sucked into the universe anyway and I think that's what makes her work interesting. It also looks quite realistic and even better than apocalyptic landscapes made with Photoshop. There is a real sense of... touch? You can see it's actually real, even though in a sense it is still an illusion.
Postcards from Pripyat
Postcards from Pripyat
Basic info for context: Danny Cooke, a UK filmmaker has taken a drone video of the current state of Chernobyl
Website and link to video: http://www.dannycooke.co.uk/project/postcards-from-pripyat-chernobyl/
This video gives us a more "vivid" look at Chernobyl, decades after the disaster. The fact that this filmmaker has used film and not photographs like most artists who go to Chernobyl do makes this video really interesting. It makes us imagine what it would be like to walk through the city. It really you a sense of peace and quiet, mixed with some nostalgia. The use of a drone is a great idea as it gives an overall look at the city as well as focuses on smaller details. This film almost look like a trailer for a post apocalyptic movie.
Basic info for context: (1972-) Polish photographer and filmmaker. Photographs disasters and has has a documentary made about his work (Alone in the Zone)
He has taken lots of interesting photos which are a great inspiration for anyone looking to create a dystopian world. Some of his pictures were taken in a building in the desert, abandoned and now filled with sand. The atmosphere of his photographs is strangely calming but for his Chernobyl series, it's another matter entirely. His photos look like they are from a horror movie and a really dark post apocalyptic movie. The fact that he has increased contrast and made in black and white helps a lot to give this anxious(?) ambiance and he has returned to Chernobyl three times, in the 2000s.
Keow Wee Loong
Keow Wee Loong
Basic info for information: contemporary Malaysian photographer. photographs rather dangerous places "places people tell him not to go" (mostly on top of skyscrapers or volcanoes)
His pictures are quite impressive and look extremely apocalyptic. He wanders around in supermarkets and deserted places, wearing a mask to cover his face which makes the whole thing quite dramatic. I think the reason I find these photos fascinating is because they present an apocalyptic world but a real one. It's almost a window into what Earth would look like if most of humanity suddenly disappeared. I can also relate to these places he goes to because supermarkets or laundry rooms are part of anyone's daily life, which makes it only more frightening. It has quite a nostalgic vibe to it as we can picture people living in this city, going about their business and their daily shopping.
Tintin Objectif Lune
Tintin Objectif Lune
Basic info for context: Tintin Objectif Lune and On a marché sur la Lune are two Belgian comic books from famous artist Hergé. The series Tintin is very famous in France and Belgium and was even made a movie four years ago. I am focusing on these two comics (the same story divided in two parts) because they were written in the fifties, a decade before Humankind actually walked on the moon.
It's interesting to see how an artist from the fifties could imagine how going to the Moon would be like. Hergé had consulted scientists to create these two comics, trying to make it realistic. A lot of aspects are correct: spacesuits, Moon's gravity, how footsteps on the moon will not be erased... but by far the most iconic element of the comic is the rocket. It does look more like a missile and its colours are unusual (inspired by V2, a rocket?).
The rocket and the spacesuits are a good source of inspiration.
Basic info for context: contemporary concept artist from Sweden.
There is something completely different about Stalenhag's future. It isn't dystopian or utopian, it seems to be somewhere in the middle. What we know is that the dinosaurs are back, aliens have attacked and failed, leaving ruins of their spaceships. The society seems very similar to ours. His vision focuses on the Scandinavian countries and his landscapes are often very calm and quiet, unlike most of the concept artists'. He is not trying to be too realist in his drawing style which is also interesting. Looking at all his images you get a sense of what this future looks like and it seems peaceful and interesting. There is rarely more than two characters in his paintings and usually only one element makes us understand that this is the future.
Postcards from the future
Postcards from the future
Postcards from the future
Basic info for context: contemporary work by Didier Madoc Jones and Robert Graves. A series of digitally modified photographs of London depicting the future of the city.
I like how the artists explored different possible versions of the future, as in "glacial London" or "Flooded London". I could actually picture these images on postcards because of the realism and the perspective of the "photographs". As someone who lives in London, I find it really interesting to see how different the city could look in a few years from now. They've explored mostly dystopian futures -related to global warming and over population- but without making them completely depressing which is a bit more hopeful.
Last year, NASA released imaginative posters to "promote" space exploration and tourism. It is only a dream today but it is interesting to imagine how space exploration might one day be advertised. The posters went viral on Internet, probably because it sparks people's interest in science fiction. Who isn't fascinated with space? Nine artists were involved in making these fourteen posters (Joby Harris mostly)
For the posters they used a very simple style, not trying to be realist. It looks like a mix between minimalism and retro futurism. They explore interesting themes for each planets (or asteroids), focusing on an aspect to promote "space tourism" (example: Europa is said to be covered in ice, why not explore ice caves?).
Basic info for context: American retro futuristic artist. Illustrator for many book covers, including Ray Bradbury's work.
His artworks are mostly book covers so they are usually representing a scene and not a landscape like concept artists do. You only get a glimpse of what that future looks like and Valigursky's vision is quite dystopian for a retro-futuristic artist active from the 1960 to 1980. His images often include robots and very 50s style characters -physical perfect, the women often in position where they need rescue, and retro futuristic clothing. His illustrations are trying to tell a story, to intrigue the viewer to engage him/her.
Basic info for context: (1920-2009) American illustrator who was known for his science fiction work during the 60s and 70s. He made books covers for science fiction books, mainly the works of Ray Bradbury, famous sci-fi author.
His work reminds a little of John Harris's work and I think Harris might have been inspired by Ellis for his paintings. They share the same techniques: gouache and acrylics for their very similar space paintings. Like Harris, Ellis has created a lot of spaceships and strange looking buildings and landscapes.
I really like the cities he has imagined and some of the scene he has painted really tell a story I would like to read. His work with book covers is also really interesting and retro-futuristic. It's important to note that he became known in the 60s around the time when man went to the Moon.
Basic Info for context: (1948-) British illustrator; known for his work relating to science fiction. His paintings have been used for science fiction book covers.
His paintings first struck me as very realistic and I think it's what makes the science fiction landscapes look so incredible. You feel sucked into that space and you can imagine a whole context around that very painting. I admire the technique as well. Most science fiction artists nowadays used digital painting but John Harris actually uses paint.
Most of his paintings represent spaceships in space and give you a sense of feeling very small. He also created landscapes with odd futuristic buildings. The spaceships are definitely what make his work so great because of the details they have and how impressive they look.
This short animation movie is a good inspiration for my short animation idea. I like the simple drawing style and the tone of voice-over. It gives basic information and makes it interesting so that the public will listen. This movie was made by Americans in the 50s when the Cold War had just began and the nuclear threat was imminent. I like how this movie looks like an old cartoons (like Tom and Jerry for example) but talks about such a serious subject. It's an aspect I want to explore in my animation, the "decalage" between the images and sounds and the subject. I also want to aim my short animation to kids as well, a little bit like done in this video.
Cold War Nuclear protection
During the Cold War, the threat of a nuclear attack was common knowledge among people. The tensions between the Soviets and the US came to its peek around the early 60s, with Cuba's Crisis. After the World War Three, people already knew how to react to an Air raid but the nuclear threat became more "trending" during the Cold War.
Governments produced booklets, radio broadcasts and even TV series ( like Protect and Survive) to inform their citizens on how to react and survive a nuclear attack. These included: information about the alarm system, things to stock, build your own fallout room, how to proof your house... Some really bunkers were even built, especially in the US (200 000 were built by 1965).
Some bunkers were really small, designed to protect a family of approximately four during around ten days. These bunkers looked like metallic tubes (steel tank shelters) and make me feel quite claustrophobic. Bigger bunkers with actual rooms also existed but were rarer. DIY bunkers could be made, following instructions from booklets: they were usually made in the centre of the house, far away from the outside walls and windows. They could be dug in the ground or made with strong boards and bags of earth and sand.
Citizens were also told what to prepare for their stay in the bunker. The list included: food that don't perish rapidly (preferably in cans), a gas mask, warm clothes, a torch, lots of water, hygiene products, games to pass the time... These are also items included in "bugging out bags", presented by survivalists. They can also include: a map, a Swiss army knife, money, fire-making materials, a first aid kit, a compass, pen and paper, tools, cooking utensils, covers and radios or communication items.
Retracing our steps
Basic info for context: (2011) project made by two artists, Carlos Ayesta and Guillaume Bression, French photographers, which retraces the steps of Fukushima inhabitants. Some of these inhabitants were invited to go back to their workplaces or their houses after the disasters and were photographed.
What I like about this work is that the photographers have "re-created" a whole universe around the abandoned city. They have involved ex habitants, raising awareness for their situation, and showing the human aspect of this terrible disaster. But they have also photographs the efforts made to decontaminate the area and also the urban landscape, disappearing under the local nature. In doing so they give us, viewers, a very good idea of how the city looks like now and even some insight in the victims' state of mind.
Their photographs are a great source of inspiration as they cover different aspects of this "apocalypse". They really show what everything humans made would become once we disappear and really make you think about humanity's future. With the current political and environmental climate, less and less people feel optimistic about the future and this is an example of what the future might look like. But in a way, it is not completely sad because people have survived the tsunami and even abandoned the city develops a new interesting aspect and makes for a really unique landscape.
Basic info for context: there was very little info on the British photographer himself. What I found simply said he took photographs of Chernobyl long after the disaster.
His photographs are chilling. They show a city, abandoned decades ago, yet most of the things remained there and were left untouched for years. It looks like a real ghost town. The complete absence of human presence is what makes these pictures look so calm, yet empty and a little bit scary. The difference between these pictures and the ones from Fukushima, is how long has passed since the city was evacuated. Chernobyl has already a whole popular culture to itself and almost sound like a legend today. It shows us how, slowly, the nature takes back the control over the human structures.
Basic info for context: born in 1932 died in 2008. American artist known for his space theme work. Made the original Star Wars posters.
His work is very similar to John Harris but I like this artist better because of the many details (more than John Harris) his paintings have. His technique is flawless and his creations, despite being really similar to each other, present original spaceships and landscapes. Just like other science-fiction painters, he really gives this sense of being sucked into the empty space of his paintings. They really transmit the silence as well, despite the fact that things-like space battles- are happening.
His work for the Star Wars poster is iconic. The way he just gathers the more important element of the film to form this image is really interesting. It is like a silent resume of the film and a great way to present the characters.
Basic info for context: Silent German movie directed by Fritz Lang, in 1926, pre-Nazi Germany.
The story is set in a dystopian future where society is divided between the rich and the poor. The rich live at the top of the buildings of the city where they have entertainment, food and luxury. The workers live in the lower levels where they are oppressed by the higher casts.
The movie presents a very "mechanical future". At the time it was made, the conflict between workers and higher classes was at his peek which explains the concern about this subject in the movie. The factories are still operated by humans -though the plot takes place in 2026. Robots are also presented in this movie: they have a certain Art Deco style and look like arbors -probably so the actors could wear them, as robots did not yet exist back then. The city resembles a retro New York and the high society's fashion is a mix between twenties fashion and Victoria era fashion.
Basic Info for context: he is a contemporary concept artist and that's pretty much all I know about him. There isn't a lot of info but lots of images on his website.
I noted that even his website has a very futuristic and video game-like atmosphere to it. It reminds me a lot of the cyberpunk style. I noticed that today's artists who depict the future tend to include nature a lot more than the retro futuristic artists did. Perhaps it's because of the rising concern for the environment. As a concept artist, Morrell's work is very detailed and often represents urban landscapes. Unlike many other artists, he also presents the poorer vision of the future, showing that everything isn't black or white, which is interesting. His vision is mainly optimistic and probably very inspired by Star Wars and such movies. His work is really incredible due to the realism and details he puts into it.
Basic info for context: (1919-2010) conceptual artist active in the 60s. Has collaborated with NASA.
His illustrations often look like propaganda posters to get people to sign up for space exploration. They look similar to propaganda posters for the military during the 40s but with the drawing style of the 50s. His urban landscapes took a lot from the Art Deco movement. Like many other concept artists from the 60s, McCall draws a lot of space shuttles and even space colonies. His depiction of the future are very utopian; it's a future in which mankind has pushed the boundaries of space and it's also a very luxurious future.
Basic info for context: 1926-2015, German illustrator active in the 60s who published his retro futuristic drawings in a magazine each year.
His depiction of the future is, as most retro futuristic depictions are, very utopian, yet very urbanised as well. He focuses on the automatic and busy aspect of the future cities where flying vehicles mix with regular cars and shops. His illustrations scream of the 60s. He also focused on space exploration, designing spaceships or creating scenes where characters find themselves on another planet. His urban designs are the very definition of retro futurism. It's a happy future, influenced by the ambiance of the fifties and the first steps on the moon, where nature doesn't seem to have a place though.
Don Davis Stanford Torus space colony
Rick Guidice O'Neill cylinder
Rick Guidice O'Neill cylinder
Basic info for context: this article is focused on Rick Guidice's work on the space colony concepts he made for NASA. He collaborated with the space program for 15 years. One of the space colony concept was designed by Gerard K. O'Neill. It was a generation ship concept aimed to be self-sustainable and carry humankind to distant solar systems. Other artists like Don Davis have also created illustration for NASA's designs.
Website: http://www.rickguidice.com/aboutus.html (and for more info on the O'Neill cylinder check the NASA website)
I really like the retro style his illustrations have. He made a very complex concept available to the public and also made people dream of these gigantic ships in space. I first discovered this work through an article on CNN and ever since then have been interested by these concepts that might one day take humanity to another exoplanet. I think Rick Guidice's work is important in a context of design because he was told to illustrate a concept and his work is what made this concept famous.
Basic info of context: contemporary concept artist from France. Fascinated by architecture. Has worked with video games companies on many games such as Cold Fear or HALO.
His art, despite the extensive amount of details it has, still has a "sketchy" style to it. I think that is what makes his art different than most concept artists. The colours are very interesting, the play with lighting too. He is not trying to be too realistic and I think this is what I like about it: the fact that you see it's still a digital painting and not a photograph.
His landscapes are very detailed and often of very urbanised cities and spaceships. Some characters are sometimes presented, but mostly in his work for video games. I think it's interesting that despite the lack of an obvious human presence in his artworks, you can still tell that the city he has drawn is very busy.
This is some interesting format to explore. My idea will probably relate to tacky tourist postcards. They usually have a character photoshoped at the front of the picture and a nice background -either a landscape or a famous monument. Other postcards have a mix of different images, famous sightings of a city and such. They are usually 148x104 in dimensions. The back is divided in two: a blank space for the message and a space for the address. Postcards are usually sent to members of a family or close friends to give them some short news about their whereabouts and adventures on their vacations. Some postcards look quite classy, with a nice photo of a sighting or sometimes they are more tacky. The way they are displayed is usually iconic as well. They are usually behind sold outside a boutique on white painted metal "shelves". I think I should explore a range of different styles for postcards and that the messages should consist in a short story about something that has happen on the trip. Postcards are truly part of the tourism industry.
Basic info for context: Fallout is a video game, released last year (the last version) set in a retro, nuclear apocalypse.
The beginning of the game is already interesting as it looks to be set in some sort of a 50s retro future with robots and fashion from the fifties. it later turns into a real wasteland with mutants and settlements of survivors. The set is quite interesting and I think that video games are a good way to immerse yourself in a universe. It shows how characters develop in the situation and what the world looks like through the eyes of one of these characters.
I also want to talk about the iPhone Fallout 4 game, Fallout shelter. It's a great source of inspiration I just had (for a Bunker doll house) as you need to manage a bunker and its inhabitants. I like the way it's laid out because it does look a little like a doll house.
Basic info for context: Descender is a very recent comic book series created by Jeff Lemire And Dustin Nguyen. It depicts a futuristic work where humanity has colonised other planets and mixed with alien races. The robots are used for domestic tasks and such until some giant alien robots destroy several planets. This event starts a uprising against the robots and sparks a genocide.
The plot is interesting because it makes us think about what social conflicts we might encounter in the future. If robots have a conscience, then we might have "Robot rights activists". It's an interesting aspect to consider when one is trying to imagine the future. The artwork is also beautiful -it looks like actual paintings. I really like how the artists are actually creating a debate within the book and try to answer the question of the "conscience" (not sure if correct use of the word).
Basic info for context: (born in 1946) British science fiction artist, illustrator. Did design for Dune, Superman, Alien...
Oddly enough, Chris Foss is not a science fiction fan and never reads the book he illustrated, preferring drawing from his imagination. It does seem to work on a certain level because his creations are very different than we normally see in science fiction. His spaceships are much more colourful -sometimes painted with the patterns of animal furs- and have strange symbols as well. He never seems to draw any humans at all, preferring space landscapes. I really like the way his work is really colourful because it changes from what most artists do.
Mad Max (1981)
Mad Max (2015)
The first movie was released in 1979. It depicts a world turned into a wasteland where only the strongest survive. The society's collapse is explained by wars and a reduction of resources. It makes this movie quite ahead of its time because dystopian visions of the future like this one were mostly non existent in the late 70s where utopian futures where imagined.
Today, Mad Max has become the very definition of a "post apocalyptic" movie. The wasteland, the clothing and the rough society are mimicked in many other movies and even comic books. What really stands out in these movies are definitely the clothing which are made from scraps and look quite impressive. Few cities are shown but we understand that people have formed smaller groups that sometimes look a little like an actual society but where the living is hard and violent. The war on resources is particularly mentioned in these movies -even though they waste these resources with car races- and it's an interesting way to see the future, a way that more and more people seem to adopt.
The Fifth Element
The Fifth Element
Basic info for context: 1997 movie by George Lucas, telling the story of an "alien" woman and her quest to stop the world from being swallowed by a giant black hole.
This movie is not only really entertaining but also full of great material. First, the urban landscape: it's busy because the planet is overpopulated. Flying "food trucks" roam the streets, cars are all flying and the buildings are so high, above the toxic clouds at the bottom of the streets. The room in which the second protagonist lives is also extremely interesting: everything is made to fit in a very small space: the shower rises to make room for a retractable cupboard, the bed is made automatically and the mail arrives through something that looks a lot like pneumatic tubes. The clothing are a mix between 90s clothing and futuristic, latex clothing. Finally, society has evolved and now controls a part of space and interacts with alien species.
But what I think is most interesting about this movie is seeing how the entertainment is in this future. Space tourism is a thing: very similar to the luxurious cruise ship of today. Opera is performed by blue aliens is mixed with a more upbeat music and the most famous radio host behaves like a complete freak. Everything in this movie is over the top. The viewer is constantly "attacked" by bright colours and what-the-fuck designs. It does look dystopian, because of the overpopulation and the absence of any kind of nature, but it seems the society is trying to drown that sad aspect of itself into entertainment and daily jobs.
So there is no information about this artist apart from his few creations and the fact that he was banished to Siberia during the Soviet era. His illustrations are very humorous and a bit childish with bright colours and lots of curves. It's an interesting vision of the future because he doesn't try to be too realistic in his paintings but it still looks really interesting. He focused, like a lot of artists on space exploration and urban landscapes. I really like how his style differs from other futuristic artists.
Basic info for context: South African contemporary artist and designer. I am focusing on one of his project -a personal one- created for the exhibition Papercuts in the Cabinet.
The project I am interested in is a series of realist illustrations, made with photography and 3D modelling, depicting strange "third world"- looking buildings in a barren location. It doesn't exactly look futuristic but more like post apocalyptic and I think it's interesting because it mixes containers and other poor-looking facilities and makes it into a surreal building.
Basic info for context: (1956-) Belgian comic book artist, best known for his work in Les cités obscures.
His work can't exactly be considered futuristic as the story starts on another planet but the style of the architecture is very interesting. The cities look like they are from both the past and the future and relate a lot to the steampunk style. I think it is still plausible for these two styles to mix as trends always come back. It is also very interesting to see a mix between past and future, as I'm sure cities in the decades to come will have both old and new buildings (as they already do). I think it's an interesting aspect concept artists sometimes tend to forget and will be fascinating to explore in my project.
Basic info for context: (1947-1998) English science fiction illustrator, who has made book covers for novels.
His work, despite the fact that he was an illustrator in the 70s and 80s, looks like a mix between retro-futurism and a more modern vision. His vision is quite optimistic, unlike many of the ones we have nowadays. Like John Harris, he created a lot of scenes in the sky with spaceships. His paintings, unlike most science fiction illustrators', aren't busy. They usually have one or two elements, maybe a character as well, and the sky as the background. They give a feeling of peace and quiet even when the spaceships appear to be racing through the sky. They look very realistic as well, which is something I appreciate a lot, especially considering he was actually using paint and not a computer program.
Basic Info for context: (1933-) American Industrial designer and concept artist. Has designed sets for Blade Runner, Alien and Tron. Is known as "The artist who illustrates the future"
Unlike other concept artists, Syd Mead doesn't only create urban landscapes but also smaller, more private scenes. He draws characters in his concept and I think it makes the depiction more relatable. We understand how humans fit in this future he has imagined. His vehicles are always very well thought-out and I think it's shown through the details and originality of his designs.
A lot of his illustrations are very retro but I wouldn't classify him as a retro futuristic artist. His style has changed throughout the years and he now uses computer softwares to create his depictions of the future. What I really like about his illustrations is that they really spark the viewer's imagination and make you wonder what it would be like to live in this strange universe.