What Are the Fun Retro Lights In The New Contemporary Resort Lobby Called?


Everyone is talking about the retro design in the Contemporary Resort’s new lobby and they are especially fascinated by the Mary Blair pieces and the fun light fixtures that have been added.  Those are called Sputnik lights and they were part of the design movement that is called the “Atomic Age.”

The time period of the design is the 1950’s into the 1960’s and it all matches pretty well with ‘The Incredibles’ aesthetic they have going on in the rooms.

I have to admit I was excited to see the Sputnik lights because my grandmother had one in her house for years and I was always fascinated by it. When it was changed out I remember being very sad to see it go.

The history of the light design, and the name, tie back to the Russian “Sputnik” satellite that was launched in 1957. Of course this led to the space race and the country was obsessed with the sci-fi look and feel of the time period, which is why overall it’s called the “Atomic Age.”

If you look at the design of these lights they resemble atoms, more than they resemble the Russian satellite but that was the talk of the time, so they called them Sputnik lights.

(Image credit: USA Today)

Sputnik lights are usually credited to Italian aeronautical engineer Gino Sarfatti. Sarfatti was not an artist, but he fell into it when he designed a vase for a friend. He actually started making lights back in the 1930’s and then came up with this one.

Just in the last few months I started noticing the lights showing up again in places like Lowes. I’m so happy the style has returned and when I saw the lights show up in the Contemporary redesign it made my day. I noticed a lot of people talking about them, but not really knowing what they were, so I thought I would do a little piece discussing the fixture and the design period it came from.

You can also see the Atomic Age inspiration and Mid-Century Modern look in some of the other wall décor in the same area.

We also see the Mid-Century Modern look to the furniture and art style they have added.  Which is around the same time period.



While it isn’t “contemporary” by today’s standards, the look definitely fits the description I get in my head when I think of the style.  It really does compliment the linear look the resort already had.

What do you think? Comment and let us know.

Source: My Grandma’s house, Annabode, and Twitter

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