“Night Fever:” A New Book Reflects on the History of Nightclub Design

Written by | Books

grace jones with lion

Grace Jones — Photo by Volker Hinz

Night Fever | By Jörg Heiser et al; Vitra Design Museum; $85.00

It’s easy think of nightclubs as the places we go to forget about life for a while — to let our hair down, enjoy a cocktail and hit the dance floor. But the nightclub has increasingly become one of the most important of society’s shared spaces, where popular culture goes to flourish at night. This offers architects and designers with opportunities to unleash their imaginations, creating adult playgrounds where sound, light, fashion, graphics and visual spaces come together in new and unusual ways. Along the way, these great gathering spots have become emblems of the eras when they flourished — the radical design of Italian nightclubs in the ‘60s; in NYC, the celebrity-fueled fantasy of Studio 54 and the infamous excesses of the Palladium; in London, the Ministry of Sound, where the party still rages today. Night Fever: Designing Club Culture 1960–Today explores their evolution from a design perspective: looking at aspects from memorable logos to cavernous spaces to the spectacles they contained. Featuring film stills and vintage photographs, posters and flyers and a parade of period fashions, Night Fever takes readers on a fascinating journey through a world where the glamour outshines the grime, where the avant-garde meets the mainstream, where new subcultures flourish and where revelers gather in search of a night that never ends. Along the way, they’ll encounter Ian Schrager, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Jean-Michael Basquiat, Vivienne Westwood, Grace Jones and other culture-shaping figures, where the hottest parties around emanate from the glitter of disco to the thumping electronic special-effects palaces of contemporary party culture.

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Last modified: July 5, 2018