I Have Seen the Future – Norman Bel Geddes

Parking on campus at UT sucks. It sucks. Like it really, really sucks. Like, it’s dodge the kid wearing headphones that don’t really fit his head because he’s too Lil Wayneing it to pay attention to the fact that green for cars means go followed closely behind by a girl in jeans and a crop top who seems to be practicing belly dancing as she’s walking across to get to the noodle house. Fancy. I’m one of those old people now who pays $12 for the lot that’s on campus despite the fact that it ensures I must awkwardly trek through the Amanda Bynes lookalikes on the Alpha Phi house lawn to get to my destination – but it’s better than attempting to parallel park in between a vast array of Kawasaki mopeds.

My point is, sometimes I actually don’t miss college. I do, however, finally actually see the advantage of participating in all of the awesome stuff that college campuses have to offer and I sneak in under the guise of my mid-twenties (…perhaps she’s a grad student…) to weird things because 1. they’re free like whee and 2. what else am I going to pretend to talk and be smart about on my fake website? Right. So you see where I’m coming from.

Cue Norman Bel Geddes also known as Norman Geddes until he determined that he and his first wife would split names and, as equals, take over the design world thereby adopting her last name, Belle, as his weird new little middle name. Cute. Sailing across traditional knowledge silos – Geddes was one of those people that designed one of just about everything. Rotating ariel restaurant with three different levels for three different types of social classes? Sure. Seltzer bottles. Yeah, course. Macy’s “Christmas Parade” balloons (1/2″ lines on diagram equivalent to 5′ not – diagram not to scale..oh) stages for the greatest plays, brilliant two page spread zig zag style print ads for hosiery and more and more and more and more. My favorite little thing was a book from his personal collection full of annotations because. it’s. so. cute.

I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America

“As exhibition titles go, “I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America” might seem a bit hyperbolic, though really it’s not. If anything, it would be difficult to overstate the trajectory of this prolific polymath, whose bold futuristic imaginings, coupled with a belief in the transformative power of art, architecture and design, drove him to rethink everything from Broadway theater sets and department-store window displays to the look of vacuum cleaners, cocktail shakers, the automobile, the circus tent and an interstate highway system.” – The Wall Street Journal


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