The late 20th century is a tricky era to define when it comes to architecture and design. Referred to often as the late-modernist period, the late 1970s and early 1980s were characterised by a sense of futurism, which the @newagecocaine Instagram account exuberantly celebrates.
Kate Sennert, the creator of the page, carefully curates the most arresting photographs and images from this interesting point in time for design. She describes herself as an “image hoarder by nature,” and began by collecting images of everything from interiors to typography and art. Feeling that these images were well-suited for Instagram, she made an account dedicated to these visuals and has since gained a following of over 37,000 users.
“I started @newagecocaine after moving to Los Angeles where the combination of sunny dry weather and urban sprawl has had the effect of preserving a lot of older buildings, as well as their interiors. I became fascinated by these little worlds or time capsules. This inspired me to learn more about interior design and architecture in general – including the far-out and ugly stuff I tend to gravitate towards,” Sennert told Something Curated. She continues: “Instagram seemed like a great place to learn out loud and chat with other enthusiasts. I also started writing about design and architecture for Animal Magazine in Mexico City, and so this new chapter in my career unfolded from there.”
Most of the architecture featured on the page borders on the absurd, from melting houses in Austria to I.M. Pei’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. There are also a number of funky paintings and interiors. No two designs shown are quite alike, and that’s what makes scouring through the @newagecocaine feed so addicting. There is a sense of experimentation with all of these design feats, and that is something that Sennert wants to foster an appreciation for.
“It’s all about that sweet spot between the 70s and 80s when hippie culture and disco futurism were overlapping with mostly hideous effect. I rarely post pictures with people in them, in part because there’s something otherworldly about these intimate, private spaces being so conceptual on the one hand and almost ill-suited for everyday, human living on the other,” she explained. “There’s a tension there between the ideas and their practical manifestation which I find both titillating and comical (in a good way).”
Words by Sara Frazier | Feature image: Bolwoningen spherical houses in the Netherlands designed by Dries Kreijkamp, 1984 (via @newagecocaine)