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I Have Seen the Future | Norman Bel Geddes Designs America

Norman Bel Geddes (1893-1958) was an innovative stage and industrial designer, futurist, and urban planner who created and promoted a dynamic vision of the future—streamlined, technocratic, and optimistic. His most notable effort was his Futurama display for the General Motors “Highways and Horizons” exhibit at the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair.

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Sreamline in cars and other transports

  1. 1930-Henderson-art-deco-custom
  2. 1935 streamlined tankers. Gilmore and Texaco Doodlebug
  3. 1939 ZIS-101 Sport coupe
  4. 1941 Chrysler Newport 
  5. 1937 Front Quarter, Alfa Romeo 6C 2300-B Pescara Berlinetta
  6. 1938 Phantom Corsair (3)
  7. 1937 Lancia Aprilia Berlinetta Aerodinamica
  8. 1936 Delahaye 135M Figoni and Falaschi Competition Coupe
  9. 1932 Zeppelin motor car ~ Norman Bel Geddes 
  10.  The Bugatti Atlantic owned by Ralph Lauren
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The original Futurama, 1939.

By far the most popular exhibit at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, the General Motors-sponsored Futurama (contained in its Highways and Horizons pavilion) was a gigantic diorama showcasing a proposed futuristic world of 1960, created by industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes. Unlike most utopian predictions, the Futurama turned out to be surprisingly accurate, in that it presented a country joined by a network of interstate highways which , for better or worse, did become a reality in the 50′s. Other predictions included helipads on skyscrapers, genetically modified food, and automatic highway systems.

After the simulated flight over this world of 1960, visitors exited into a full scale replica of one of the intersections seen in the diorama, which included elevated sidewalks.  Upon exiting, visitors were given a small pin that simply read “I Have Seen The Future”