I recently had a really bad chest cold and I was in bed all weekend so I had to binge watch something to pass the time. Thankfully, I found the show Black Mirror. To call it a show actually doesn't do it the justice it deserves. Episodes are all feature length works of art set in the near future. An anthology of vignettes of sometimes dystopian future where our reliance on technology feels less like progress and more like the beginning of the end of civilization. What makes the show so effectively eerie is the fact that most of the settings are in smartly appointed spaces designed with the utmost care. There is a proliferation of wonderful mid-century modern gems that pay homage to the timelessness of the mid-century movement...even in a dystopian future. The beauty of the interior design in Black Mirror can be attributed to production designer Joel Collins and (for the most part) set decorator Robert Wischusen-Hayes.

The juxtaposition of a crumbling human society and such beautiful examples of exquisite interior design make you pause and wonder about the superficiality of design in our lives. But then maybe it speaks to the fact that good design endures and perhaps is the fabric that holds our species together in troubling times. An interior space that pays attention to the key elements of design and gestalt principles can have a positive, psychological effect on us. Hopefully we can use the positive effects of design in our lives to reflect on the trappings of technology.


Joshua English is a freelance designer and lifelong student of design. He is also the principal designer for joshua english:design. Devoted chair nerd and lover of wabi-sabi.

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