Recorded Wednesday, August 16, 2023
Join journalist Mike Walker as he examines the mid-twentieth century American beachside hotel and motel architecture which brought forth a fusion of California Googie futurism, the exoticism of the South Pacific and other distant locales. On the surface, the design at hand may seem simply fun and attuned to the vacation atmosphere of its locations. However, it incorporates many aspects of post-war America: the atomic age, the visions of the South Pacific of returning servicemen, and the optimism of the USA at a technological and economic apex. How was Polynesian culture appropriated? Did the “Tiki” culture presented have any real authenticity or was it mostly a combination of fleeting glances at the exotic coupled with concepts which would “make for a good story”? This presentation investigates how a confluence of historical, social, and aesthetic choices made Tiki culture and the American vacation a world all their own.