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Lotta Living is your Ultra Guide for Googie, Atomic Age and Mid Century Modern Living.

Fans of Googie and Mid-Century Modern architecture, preservation, inernational design, Art Deco, 20th century lifestyle, Roadside attractions, Travel tips, motels, coffee shops, drive-ins, bowling alleys, dinner houses, gas stations, giant objects, neon signs, vintage fashion, Post War entertainment, exotica, lounge music, cocktail hour, space-age, swing, tiki, theme parks, dancing, nostalgia, go-go boots, hairdoos, ephemera, SHAG artwork, collectibles, ALL ARE WELCOME!
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Atomic Ranch


Olive or Twist

Glossary of Modern Terms

A-C go to... A-C D-F G-I J-L M-O P-R S-V W-Z

adaptive re-use
method of preservation where a building retains its signature visual elements, but the structure is used for a purpose other than originally intended

Art Deco
style from the first few decades of the 20th century; styles within this period include Moderne, Streamline and Zigzag among others and was a natural predecessor to the clean Modern style

barrel vault
curved roofline

progressive school of arts and architecture founded in 1919 Germany and birthplace of the European Modernist movement that emphasized bold experimental geometric visuals and typography

popular parabolic or amoeba-shaped design motif

"building as sign"
building where the shape, size or color provides identification as much as signage does

small house or cottage usually with a small front porch popularized in Southern California

structure that projects or hovers in space seemingly without support from beneath

Case Study program
considered a high point in architectural innovation, this program developed by Arts and Architecture magazine solicited housing solutions, encouraging architects to explore new design and construction techniques, and to expand Modernist principles

windows which are above normal ceiling height and project into roofline

D-F go to... A-C D-F G-I J-L M-O P-R S-V W-Z

De Stijl
design style that uses asymmetry and rectangles, term derived from 1930s Netherlands school of decorative arts

term derived from typographic characters that extend beyond the normal alphabet: +@#* and used to describe buildings (usually apartments) that sport characters and symbols as decorative elements

folded plate
a back and forth folding of a surface, whether roof or walls

folk art environment
art originating among the "common man"

G-I go to... A-C D-F G-I J-L M-O P-R S-V W-Z

Garden City
pre-war urban planning movement that promoted decentralized and collective living patterns in a green environment advocated by such Modernists as Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra

coffee shop Modern architectural style characterized by space-age graphics, widely angled lines, fanciful motifs; term derived from Googie's coffee shop, designed by John Lautner

style characterized by clean, bold lines and geometric forms; lack of ornamentation or texture; and steel, glass or reinforced-concrete construction

J-L go to... A-C D-F G-I J-L M-O P-R S-V W-Z

see space-age

refers to signage with motion

M-O go to... A-C D-F G-I J-L M-O P-R S-V W-Z

minimalist geometric shape, term is derived from the sparse style of architect and designer, Mies Van der Rohe

Moderne vs. Modern
Moderne refers to an Art Deco style which has a streamline look and pre-dates Modern; Modern refers to mid-century postwar style

broad flat areas of color reminiscent of the Modern painter, Piet Mondrian, who used color similarly

open-air plan
style that advocates space and breezeways between buildings in a complex

P-R go to... A-C D-F G-I J-L M-O P-R S-V W-Z

curved in a way that is not symmetrical

porte cochere
covered or sheltered entryway for vehicles or pedestrians

exterior building element that is supported by columns

construction method that emphasizes vertical and horizontal elements

style from the end of the 20th century that built upon and expanded the principles of Modernism

historic period after the end of World Ward II in 1945, usually extended to the 1960s

buildings which reflect the contents within: from the obvious hot dog-shaped stand that sells hot dogs to the sublime derby hat that symbolizes a "classy" place to eat

structures, signage or other elements that are designed primarily to attract the passing motorist

S-V go to... A-C D-F G-I J-L M-O P-R S-V W-Z

also called jet-age, technology innovation in air travel, satellites and eventually moon travel translated into Modern motif

popular space-age design embellishment that looks like starburst with wheel spokes and balls on the ends; associated with progress and named after the Russian satellite launched in the late 1950s

stone screen
concrete architectural element (usually a wall) that uses repeating patterns as a design motif; term derived from its originator, Edward Durell Stone

theme environment
building or complex that uses a thematic decorative approach, such as space-age, tiki, western, etc.

tiki / Polynesia
design motif first popularized by GI's stationed in the South Seas during World War II; just before and immediately after Hawaii first became the 50th state in 1959, a Polynesian frenzy took place often reflected in postwar architecture and motif

W-Z go to... A-C D-F G-I J-L M-O P-R S-V W-Z

WPA (Work Projects Administration - later Works Progress Administration)
government program designed to create jobs that often included cultural and artistic works.

On the Town
Radio Show Archive Site


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