Design in the Sixties represented energy and fun; it was dynamic, cheap and cheerful and it prompted a consumer 'youthquake' revolution. Op Art fabrics, plastic chairs, inflatable houses, mini skirts, paper furniture, pop glass and psychedelic posters were among the design phenomena. When Mary Quant launched 'the look' with her range of ready-to-wear fashions in the early Sixties, its style, like the Habitat interior look launched shortly afterwards, was immediately appropriated by the trendy younger generation.
The Sixties traces the transition from the organic, fluid lines of the 'Contemporary' design of the 1950s to the pure geometry of 'the look' and the styles of the 1960s. In all fields of design -- architecture, furniture, ceramics, glass, textiles -- circular and rectilinear motifs were seen to represent futuristic Space Age design. While the USA was the undoubted leader in the field of architecture, and the Scandinavian style remained a potent force in the applied arts, Britain, at the centre of the fashion and popular culture explosion, and Italy, adding a whole new dimension to furniture and plastics, were emerging as the two new design superpowers.