Mid-century modern illustration: Imagined futures of the past

I came across these illustrations over at Wanken, who has dedicated this week (Jan 3-7) to mid-century design. Shelby’s site is always a great resource to browse if you’re in need of some design inspiration, or if you simply want to marvel at all things mid-century. I’m consistently amazed by the architecture he finds and want to live in nearly every residence he shares, not excluding the drawings above.

What I love about these illustrations is the glimpse they give you into the future as it was imagined in the past. These are scenarios that artists in the 50s-60s dreamed would be commonplace today, or even years earlier. Unlike visions of the future we see today (with the exception of prominently placed television sets) they are devoid of robots or machine integration into everything it can get its circuits into. Instead, they paint a picture of human life and nature melded together, co-existing. Lounging in the canopy, hearing the flow of water beneath your floorboards, naturally formed rock as pool walls, all examples of respect for the natural world around us. All environments I’d like to spend some leisure time in, illustrated or not.

See the rest of Wanken’s collection here.


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