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Home / 1980s: Design By Decade (Episode 4)

1980s: Design By Decade (Episode 4)

This title is a part of the series Design By Decade Series

Catalogue Number:  BAM080
Producer:  Blue Ant Media
Producing Agencies:  High Fidelity HDTV Media Inc.
Subject:  Arts, Canadian History, Canadian Social Studies, Family Studies/Home Economics, History, Social Studies, Tech/Voc
Language:  English
Grade Level:  9 - 12, Post Secondary
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  2011
Running Time:  30:00
Closed Captions:  Yes

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The 1980s was a decade of excess and materialism across the Western world. The flashy era marked an increase in conspicuous consumption and the Eighties are often associated with decadence and a glorification of capitalism. Wealth distribution became more concentrated during this decade, and the yuppie culture emerged. This decade saw an emphasis on status and power and with that an increased interest in big name designer labels. The 1980s were in many ways - big, bold, and over the top.

During the early Eighties, Canada continued to be governed by Pierre Trudeau. In 1982, he brought home the constitution so that it was no longer under British jurisdiction and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was established. Shortly after Trudeau's retirement, The Conservatives came to power under Brian Mulroney - winning the election by a landslide. In the early 80s Canada underwent a major recession. Mulroney hoped to revitalize the Canadian economy, and unlike Trudeau, strove to forge closer ties with the United States.

Throughout the decade - many design companies prospered in Canada, as awareness of prestigious design was on the rise. Designers embraced a more pluralist look, creating objects that challenged earlier perceptions of good design. The possibilities of what could be made were endless...

Despite various economic changes, during this period, design from the 1980s was dynamic, original and often audacious. Design by decade revisits some of the most vital and expressive designs of this era.

Program includes three segments:

  • Attach Case: A Decade's Preoccupation with Power (00:55-9:36)
  • Post-Modernism - The Nexus Chair (9:48-18:47)
  • Design-Driven Studios (18:58-23:49)

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