In general there is an insatiable need for artists and designers to reinvent design of the past in order to create new meaning in contemporary design. Yet many forget to understand the period in which the design has been produced and why, instead focusing only on the aesthetic and formal qualities. One period that has become of great interest to the contemporary designers is the period lasting from 1940-1960, the Atomic Age. This period, often termed the fulcrum of the 20th century, had a major impact on America. The impact was indeed extensive, causing a visual shift in imagery, theory and culture that has played a major role in design history. By the end of the age a new America had begun, an America that would shape the rest of the millennium. This work will examine the American architecture, fashion and commercial design of the 1940's and 1950's from a historical and interdisciplinary perspective in order to understand the groundbreaking visual shift in response to the significant political, social and cultural occurrences.
Heather Carlson, BFA: Studied Graphic Design and Marketing at Boise State University. Promotions Coordinator at Boise State University Campus Recreation. Heather is currently working towards an MA in Communication from Boise State University. She also serves on various local non-profit boards and coaches volleyball at Bishop Kelly High School.