Retro futurism is a movement in the arts, design, and popular culture that combines elements of the past with elements of the future. It can be seen as a reaction to the sometimes-overwhelming pace of change in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
The term "retro futurism" was first coined by American writer Mark Dery in his 1993 essay "Black to the Future", in which he explored the ways that Afrofuturism (a cultural movement that combines elements of science fiction, fantasy, history, and Afrocentricity) could be used to reimagine the past. Dery's essay was inspired by Octavia Butler's novel Kindred (1979), which tells the story of a black woman who is transported back in time to the antebellum South.
Since then, retro futurism has become a popular aesthetic in a wide range of media, from fashion and architecture to film and television. In many ways, retro futurism can be seen as a response to the increasing pace of change in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. With advances in technology came new anxieties about the future, as well as a nostalgia for simpler times. The retro futurist aesthetic combines these two impulses, resulting in an aesthetic that is both nostalgic and forward-looking.
Retro futurism often takes on a critical stance towards technology and progress, imagining a future that is not necessarily better than the present. This can be seen in films like Blade Runner (1982), which imagines a bleak future city filled with pollution and crime, or The Terminator (1984), which envisions a world where machines have taken over and humans are fighting for their survival. In both cases, retro futurist films use elements of the past to comment on the present day.
The popularity of retro futurism has grown in recent years, thanks in part to shows like Stranger Things (2016), which takes place in 1980s Indiana and features many references to classic sci-fi films like E.T. (1982) and The Goonies (1985). Similarly, films like Ready Player One (2018) and TV shows like Westworld (2016-present) use elements of pop culture from different eras to create new stories set in imaginary worlds.
Whether you're interested in fashion, film, or architecture, there's something for everyone when it comes to retro futurism. So take a step back into the future and see what this fascinating aesthetic has to offer!
Retro Futurism: Design
The term “retrofuturistic” may conjure up images of The Jetsons or other Hanna-Barbera cartoons from the 1960s, but the reality is that retrofuturistic design is much more than that. In fact, it’s a growing trend in home design that takes cues from the past while incorporating modern amenities and technologies.
If you’re considering a retrofuturistic home design, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, don’t be afraid to mix and match different styles. This is one of the hallmarks of retrofuturistic design; it takes elements from different eras and combines them into something new and unique.
Second, don’t be afraid to experiment with color. Retrofuturistic design often incorporates bright, bold colors that might not be traditionally found in homes. However, these colors can really make your home stand out and give it a unique personality.
Third, remember that retrofuturistic design is all about fun. Don’t take yourself too seriously; have fun with your design and let your personality shine through.
Now that you know a little bit more about retrofuturistic design, here are some tips on how to incorporate it into your own home:
1. Start with the exterior. One of the easiest ways to add a retrofuturistic touch to your home is to start with the exterior. Paint your front door a bright color, add some funky hardware, or install some unique lighting fixtures. These small changes can really make a big impact on the overall look of your home.
2. Incorporate geometric shapes. Geometric shapes were popular in many mid-century designs, so incorporating them into your own home can give it a retro feel. Try adding geometric patterns to your wallpaper or using furniture with clean lines and sharp angles.
3. Add some vintage flair. Another easy way to add a retro touch to your home is to incorporate some vintage pieces into your décor. Look for vintage furniture at thrift stores or online retailers like Etsy. You can also find vintage-inspired reproductions if you want something that looks like the real thing but without the price tag.
4. Bring in some metal accents . Metal accents were also popular in mid-century designs, so adding them to your own home can help create a retro look . Look for metal lamps , clocks , or even wall art . You can also find metal furniture if you want to really go all out . 5 Use bold , bright colors . As we mentioned before , one of the hallmarks of retrofuturistic design is its use of bold , bright colors . So don’t be afraid to experiment with color when creating your own retro - inspired space . Try painting an accent wall or using brightly colored furniture or accessories . 6 Incorporate technology . One of the best things about living in the 21st century is all of the amazing technology we have at our fingertips . And what could be more “retro - futuristic ” than incorporating cutting - edge technology into your home décor ? Look for ways to incorporate smart devices like thermostats , lighting controls , and security systems into your space . You can also find plenty of cool gadgets and gizmos that will add both function and style to your home . 7 Have fun ! Remember , one of the most important things about creating a retro - futuristic space is having fun with it ! So don’t take yourself too seriously ; let your personality shine through in your décor choices . Embrace bold colors and patterns , mix and match different styles , and experiment with different technologies . By following these tips , you can create a truly unique space that reflects both who you are and what you love
Retro Futurism: Art
One of the most famous examples of retro futurism is the art deco style of the 1920s and 1930s. This style was characterized by its use of geometric shapes, streamlined forms, and bold colors. Art deco was a reaction against the ornate styles of the past, but it also looked forward to a future that was modern and sleek. The term "retro futurism" has also been used to describe more recent trends in popular culture. For example, some have argued that the 1980s television show The Jetsons represents a form of retro futurism. The show's vision of the future - with its flying cars and robot maids - seems quaint when compared to our present day reality. But at the time it aired, The Jetsons represented a very different future than what we were used to seeing on television. Similarly, some have argued that the films of Wes Anderson are retro futuristic. Anderson's films often take place in an idealized version of the past, with characters who are out-of-touch with reality. This disconnection from reality gives Anderson's films a sense of nostalgia for a time that never really existed. Whether you see retro futurism as an aesthetic style or as a way of looking at the world, there's no denying that it has had an impact on art and popular culture. As we move further into the 21st century, it will be interesting to see how this trend continues to evolve.
Retro Futurism: Culture
The appeal of retro futurism lies in its ability to combine elements of both past and future into a single aesthetic. It is often used to critique contemporary society by imagining what it would be like if it were designed in an earlier era. This can be done either through parody or through sincere homage. Blade Runner is one of the most famous examples of retro futurism. The film is set in a dystopian Los Angeles in 2019, and imagines a world where advanced technology has led to a loss of connection with nature. The film's design is heavily influenced by Art Deco, an aesthetic style from the 1920s and 1930s. This gives the film a distinctive look that has been much imitated since its release. The Fifth Element is another example of retro futurism that uses Art Deco as its primary influence. The film is set in 23rd century New York City, and imagines a world where aliens have come to Earth seeking help from humans. Again, the design style creates a unique look that helps to set the film apart from other science fiction movies. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is another example of retro futurism that takes its inspiration from early 20th century design styles. The film is set in an alternate history version of 1939, and follows the adventures of intrepid reporter Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow) and ace pilot Sky Captain Joe Sullivan (Jude Law) as they try to stop an evil scientist from taking over the world. The film's design pays homage to pulp magazines and serials from the early 1900s, giving it a distinctive look that helps it stand out from other films set in this period.