Industrial Design and the look of the future have been a common background theme in film since at least the 1950’s. The first alien invasion movies had set designers imagining the insides of UFOs and user interfaces that are reality now: think The Day The Earth Stood Still.
What are your favorite films that showcase ID, interface design, or futuristic concepts in meaningful and realistic contexts, making the design and function of things the centerpiece of the films?
My top three:
2001: A Space Odyssey
Until The End of the World
Damn it! I was gonna say 2001 Space Odyssey.
Kubrick films in general, A Clockwork Orange has some great pieces (the bobbing phalic shaped sculpture…hmm this is a really good topic, um…how about Woody Allen’s Sleepers for interaction design? I’ll get back to u on this one
There are some movies which showcase design, and others that use it as part of a sensibility or character. I’m having a hard time explaining this… for example - Aliens, as cool as that was, is a monster movie, with high-tech toys. Blade Runner is closer to what I’m thinking about since its centered on the issues involved with AI, surveilliance, etc.
Similarly, films like Starship Troopers, and the entire Star Wars trilogy could be made without any compelling design involvement in the storyline - they are hero/war films with sweet FX - but the FX are not central to the story.
I’ll add ‘Strange Days’ with Don Carr doing the ID for the brain-transmitter thing.
I disagree… Lucas was the first to create the “used future” look. Much of this was directly due to the initial designs used for creatures and space ships. Prior to Episode 4, sci-fi was a sterile place, space ships were all symmetrical and nobody had every thought to make things enormous. One example would be the TIE fighter, which would be significantly less ominous if it didn’t look the way it did.