THE EVOLUTION OF NIGHTCLUBS FROM THE 1960S TO TODAY
night fever: designing club culture is a large-scale examination of the relationship between club culture and design, charting the evolution of nightclubs from the 1960s to today. the exhibition is live until the 9th of january 2022 at V&A dundee, scotland. nightclubs are an example of a total designed experience, employing architecture, art, fashion, graphics, lighting, performance and sound to create an immersive sensory experience where design, music and technology meet on the dancefloor.
exhibition designer konstantin grcic and lighting specialist matthias singer devised the music and light installation for the exhibition that celebrates night club design to provide an immersive experience for people to appreciate some of the iconic tracks that forged the sound of modern dance music.
guests in conversation on a sofa inside studio 54.
all images courtesy of V&A dundee
STUDIO 54 – BOUNCERS MIXED THE SALAD
ian schrager and steve rubell’s studio 54 is perhaps the most famous disco of all time. the club was founded in new york in 1977, a time when the media cult surrounding figures from film, music, and sports took on a new dimension. studio 54 provided stars and wannabes not only a place to party, but also the ideal platform to be seen. at the entrance, bouncers decided by means of the infamous velvet cord who went inside and who remained outside. rubell called his selection of guests “mixing the salad”, by which he meant the right mix of celebrities and unknowns for a successful club night.
dj larry levan in paradise garage in 1979.
THE PARADISE GARAGE – ALL ABOUT MUSIC
the paradise garage was located on the first floor of a parking garage in the new york neighbourhood of soho and opened the same year as studio 54, in 1977. at this club, which was frequented by predominantly black american gay men as well as wider members of the lgbtq+ community, it was less about guests’ grandstanding than about music and dancing. richard long and alan fierstein developed a sound system that was tailored to resident dj larry levan and at 10,000 watts combined the power of a live concert with the warmth and nuance of a living room hi-fi system. with sets that mixed elements of house and disco, levan shaped the genre of garage house.
despacio sound system – manchester