The Dream of the ’90s is Dead

Come on in. I’m playing ‘River of Dreams’ by Billy Joel on repeat.

This was a mansion in California that never sold. It was like 6 million dollars. Eventually it was purchased by some guy who demolished it. Just tore down this beautiful (though dated) home.

My aunt in Florida recently redid her kitchen and ripped out a really cool old fluorescent light fixture because it looked dated.


But these things that are rooted in a time period are the literal essence of style. It might not be your particular aesthetic, but, I think it’s important to respect history and styles. It’s also important because most of these things aren’t made anymore.

As things progress, we lose the ability to buy certain styles. It’s like lost technology. My aunt pulled that lighting fixture out of her home, and that’s it. It’s over. She’ll never be able to put it back in. No one will.

Which brings us to the tragedy and death of design.

Perfect. It’s perfect in every way.

So as we move further and further away from the ’80s and ’90s, unique designs, colorways, and shapes will disappear too. It is not seen as timeless like the ’50s and ’60s were. It’s seen as gross, floaty, sleezy, cheesy. But I argue that it has a lot of character. It has an idea. Which is more than I can say about the dominant styles of the last 20 years.

Its so hard to find anything in lacquer.

So as we move forward in time, we lose whole languages of design. We lose entire universes of style. And it fucking sucks. So this house – was beautiful. But it got bulldozed.

So nice. Custom tile work with gorgeous inlays? Nice!

I wonder what treasures we’ve already lost. I wonder what spaces we’ll never see again. I feel the loss of these styles deeply. They weren’t around long enough to get played out. And now the few people who were bold enough to play with these particular crayons, are seeing their works of art turned into parking lots, or cleared out to make way for soulless modern architecture.

I would be out here every single day.

I know I’ll never be able to afford a 5 million dollar early ’90s mansion, but, I would have loved to spend one day there.

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Even these shapes don’t exist anymore.

I wish design was cumulative. But it’s not. It’s just sparse evolution of monocultures that destroy everything that came before. It’s a wave of nullification that erases and demonizes our past. Philistines with no taste cheering another MCM simulacrum instead of embracing real, original ideas.

The things we’ve lost far outweigh the things we’ve gain. Here’s to the future. May it all be turned to dust.

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