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Rocket Belts & Geodesic Domes, Jetsons & Bubble Chairs

Knoll chairs, rocket dresses, moon stations, and living pods - all part of the Space Age fascination with technology, exploration, and futurism.

On Friday, 27 Chandler Street hosts a gala opening exhibit of space age culture and design

Long a fixture on Hertel Avenue, the retro furniture and design shop CooCooU has gradually been preparing to open a new show room and store at 27 Chandler Street in Black Rock.

In addition to an 8,000-square-foot show room, the shop’s new digs include a 3,000-square-foot gallery space with 12-foot ceilings. That gallery, called 27, debuts this Friday, April 12, with a show called The Future is History: The Rise and Fall of Space Age Culture and Design, 1957-1972.

Those dates comprise the astonishing revelation of Sputnik and the last of the Apollo missions, a period in which fascination with space exploration and the attendant technology had an effect on popular culture and design that was alternately profound and flippant, enduring and faddish. The exhibit includes epochal artifacts including furniture, lighting, clothing, consumer electronics, housewares, and decorative objects. Also on view are representative films, posters, architectural models and renderings, Space Race memorabilia, advertisements, book and record covers, and space-themed toys and games.

“The collective obsession with space and the future permeated all walks of life, spanning corporate boardrooms and hippie communes,” writes Marty McGee, one of the exhibit’s organizers. “Fifteen pivotal years that melded science fiction with science fact into weird, unfamiliar territory. The seismic juncture of the modern and postmodern which still reverberates today.”

The opening gala on Friday is part of Yuri’s Night (, a global celebration of humanity’s past, present, and future in space. Yuri’s Night specifically commemorates two significant events that occurred on April 12: cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin’s first manned spaceflight (April 12, 1961) and the inaugural launch of NASA’s Space Shuttle (April 12, 1981).

And if you already knew there was such a thing as Yuri’s night, then god knows 27 Chandler Street is the place for you to be on Friday night.

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