Modernica’s Furniture Line Up from 16 Years Ago; A Glimpse at Modernica and The World Circa 1995

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Yesterday’s post about the Butterfly Table got me looking at old catalogs and thinking about past Modernica pieces. While we have no formal timeline for our furniture production, it is through the catalogs one can see the company evolve.

Many of the pieces shown above, have long since ceased production. But if you take a moment and reflect upon 1995. It is easy to understand how the design aesthetics shifted from the opulent forms of the early 90′s, towards the streamlined clarity of shapes in the following years to come. Gathering up my thoughts about the year, I’ve listed events that I feel influenced and shifted our social constructs and in essence, changed the way we live our lives and the things we choose to surround ourselves with.

The year is 1995. Bill Clinton is our charming and effective president. It is one year after apartheid has ended and South Africa wins the World Rugby Cup with Nelson Mandela as president. The ‘Million Man March’ happens in Washington D.C. The top three TV shows are; ER, Seinfeld, and Friends. DVD’s are introduced. The term ‘The World-Wide Web’ is new(ish) and on super slow-mo dial-up with sound effects. Douglas Coupland releases ‘Microserfs’, effectively making nerds cool. If you can plug in a modem, an internet start up company will pay you six digits to start. If you are capable of using Photoshop, people believe you have mystical powers. Cameras use film and our photographs have to be developed in a lab. Yahoo and Ebay are launched. Pagers are the standard, not cell phones. Forest Gump wins an Oscar for Best Picture. OJ Simpson is found not guilty. Girls wear baby doll floral dresses with black tights. Boys wear their jeans low and baggy. Kurt Colban has already been dead for a year. Design Within Reach will not open for another 4-years, and it will be another year after that, until the launch of Dwell magazine.

The cynicism, hostility and lack-of-identity of Generation X, will soon be replaced by the narcissism and an embedded sense of entitlement of the now toddler, tech savvy Generation Y. Times were changing and 1995 did prove to be a watershed year in many ways.

All product photography by Randall Michealson. All material copyrighted by Modernica 1995.
This was a story I wrote for Modernica’s blog. I liked it and wanted to keep a copy of it here. Enjoy!

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