1934. The world was spinning from recent economic catastrophes. Capitalism was at its nadir. Communism was in free-fall. Fascism was rising as curiously populist yet iron-fisted alternative. Each system was vying for hegemony. Each system borrowed tactics and strategies of the other to seduce its citizenry and citizens of the world.
Design played a huge role in that allure. Architecture, products and graphics were employed as manipulative components intended to pique loyalty and passion. 1934 was the year that in Chicago, American industry celebrated “A Century of Progress”—a period when corporate America lead the economics and politics of the nation.
The 1934 World’s Fair was an imposing display of corporate might and futuristic projection. It was designed, like any showing of power, to dwarf the average person while extolling the virtues of a corporate state. And while triggering excitement for the future, in retrospect the American designs echo those in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. Below are a few that could be construed as authoritarian futurism.
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