little Marcel Breuer butterfly-roof box, one much like the 1948 House in the Museum Garden." /> little Marcel Breuer butterfly-roof box, one much like the 1948 House in the Museum Garden." />




05.24.10
Alexandra Lange | Essays

Modernism on the Range

Thinking about The Incredibles and design after reading this piece by Jessica Helfand, I was remembering how amused I was that the Incredibles lived in a little Marcel Breuer butterfly-roof box (great screenshots at The Mid-Century Modernist), one much like the 1948 House in the Museum Garden.

Then, messing around on YouTube in search of things to show my son that aren’t attached to a line of merchandise (see under, Cars, Thomas), I found this gem from 1956: A Cowboy Needs a Horse, complete with atomic ranch. Pay close attention to the house at the beginning and end. Every time I watch it I try to figure out its hidden meaning. In The Incredibles, the message was mixed, because the bad guy lived in Lautner, the butterfly-roof modern house was a symbol of suburban conformity, and yet Edna Mode invented from a mini-Bunshaft or Saarinen.

But here, when the ranch was young, it seems like the animators are playing with the overlap of modern architecture, western domestication, and the architecture of the mesa. Is the boy trying to escape to the past, or is his environment allowing him to dream?

Meanwhile, I am still trying to figure out how to explain the braves to a 21st century child.



Posted in: Architecture, Film + Video


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