Rainbows, Chrome and Purple Dragons!
That's why I love Epcot Center 1982!
Today, we’ll focus mainly on style within Epcot’s perimeter…and stylish it definitely was!
As stated yesterday, science fiction and computer advancements had an incredible influence on Epcot’s design in architecture and show concept.
Being a ‘permanent World’s Fair’, the park followed in the path of such predecessors as the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, The 1964 New York World’s Fair, the 1968 San Antonio HemisFair and the Osaka Expo 1970.
All of these featured state of the art “blue sky’ architecture in their pavilions with an emphasis on mod styling. The Pop Art movement and celebrity industrial designers such as Saul Bass, Raymond Lowey, Verner Panton, Eero Saarinen and the Eames’, all had showcased presentations of exhibition design. There’s little question these elements had a hand in the inspiration of Epcot’s concepts.
Just look at these interior pics of the Communicore section. Rolly Crump was one of the key designers of this kinetic display. There’s a striking resemblance to Charles and Ray Eames’, touring exhibition “Mathematica” and their “Information Machine” presentation for the IBM Pavilion at the 1964 NYWF.
As usual, Disney artists took inspiration from the visual work of others and ‘plussed’ it with the charm that only Disney could.
The thing that draws me to early Epcot more than anything else is how amazingly it captured the sensibility of the time. I call that sensibility “New-Age Sci-Fi”. (Think Jean-Michel Jarre or Stevie Nicks on the Space Shuttle and you're getting warm.)
It was a weird combination of conservatism mixed with science optimism, sprinkled with a dash of soul-less spiritualism.
What I mean by that is the almost religious nature of clean mysticism offered within the park. The pavilions and surrounding grounds were executed with a cold beauty. Everything from the pigmented asphalt to the ethereal drone of synthesizer muzak piped into the air gave one a sense of a new age dream.
1982 Epcot felt a lot like you were walking in the coldly beautiful future of Logan’s Run.
And, when I say “cold”…it’s a good thing! Star Trek: The Motion Picture was the epitome of this “New-Age Sci Fi”.
The sci-fi look of the era consisted of chrome and rainbows against starscapes.
Epcot drew much from this combo…
The many pavilions strove to inspire from every angle. Unlike Disneyland, the architecture was presented on a grand, roomy scale.
The distant view was taken full advantage of in that Epcot was a spacious layout.
Nighttime lighting was presented in the spectacle generally regulated to World’s Fairs and Nuremburg Party rallies….
Tomorrow: The High-fallootin' Promise of Epcot!