If I had one wish from a magic lantern – a completely self-indulgent wish, but nonetheless one that I could enjoy guilt free, without feeling like I was wasting it – it’d be to have a time machine. Not an ordinary time machine, mind you. This one would work a bit differently. The concept is that it transforms the aesthetic of any given space to be completely in line with a design era of your choosing. The general character of the space and its inhabitants remains the same, but it’s in a different outfit, so to speak.
For example, I could bring this machine with me to the office and dial it to June 3rd, 1954. All the hard drives would be instantaneously replaced by filing cabinets, the standing desks by liquor cabinets, and the ‘office casual’ short-sleeved shirts and khakis by three-piece suits. And don’t even get me started on the building itself. When it comes to interior design for offices, Melbourne in the 1950s is a strong contender for the top prize (in what competition, exactly, I couldn’t tell you, but you know what I mean).
Some would argue that the 1930s was the true golden age for commercial fitouts. Across Melbourne, we saw innovations paved the way for the mid-century modern design era that everyone’s so nuts about. There’s definitely something to be said for the handsome practicality and simplicity of design from that time; I just feel it doesn’t match the festive spirit of the 1950s sensibility.
In any case, with this machine in tow, it’d be possible to visit both periods to compare and contrast. Imagine that! Just for fun, you could top off the adventure with a stop in 1991 to laugh at the wide array of novelty jumpers and enormous computers.
Is this making sense? Alright, fine, there’s some conceptual hiccups that probably need to be ironed out, but you get the general idea. Besides, I feel like the whole point of making a wish via a magic object is that all the figuring out is taken care of for you. Otherwise, what’s the point?