Posts Tagged ‘contempo’

“Contempo” – my term for the insincere faux-modern design style infecting our lives

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

There is a particular type of contemporary design that I deeply despise but for which there is no terminology. About six years ago, out of frustration, I started calling it “contempo.” It is a deliberately cheesy term for a cheesy aesthetic, an aesthetic of dumbed-down, cutesy faux-modernism. The made-up word “contempo” somehow had the correct sound—the idiotic, faux-Italian, marketing-ish, self-conscious jauntiness that this style cried out for.

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Todd Selby on mess

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Canadian House and Home recently asked photographer Todd Selby about the aesthetic of his photography and blog:

Q: What’s with all the crazy collections and homes with a borderline messy aesthetic?

A: My look is very of the culture. It’s a backlash to that super modern, dot-com, end of the ’90s era.

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Industrial articulated wall lamp

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

It seems impossible to find completely unadorned industrial design like this new (or even pseudo-industrial, since this lamp was probably made for the domestic market). It’s a vintage midcentury modern lamp from Furniture-Love.com via plastolux. It is here if you just need one, and can afford it.

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Cringe List, Part 1: Alessi

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

I always meant to initiate a regular feature about bad design but for a long time I didn’t have the heart for it. For one thing, finding insincere design is like shooting fish in a barrel. For another it’s not very nice. And finally I could never match the comprehensive inventories of horror to be found at Ugly House Photos or Eurobad ’74.

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