For design buffs, Spy Vibe is also a nicely curated collection of styles from a time when Modernism begat Mod, and Pop begat Op: This fleeting Technicolor moment in design history quickly turned saccharine and stale, as the Space Age optimism and spy vs. spy romance it reflected crumbled under the weight of Watergate and the muddy realities of the lingering Cold War. But when it was fresh and young, it must have been something to behold. Spy Vibe is full of interior design eye candy from a time before CGI, when costumes were made-to-measure and movie sets were built by hand; check out obscure films like The 10th Victim (1965), with its Op-Art sets and inflatable furniture inspired by Verner Panton, and TV shows like The Prisoner (1967-1968), with its evil-genius riff on Eero Aarnio's Ball Chair.
David A. Greene
Dave has contributed to Dwell since its inception. He's a CalArts dropout, a former art critic for The New Yorker, and a producer of comedies on TV. He lives in, and writes from, Los Angeles.