The Man Who Designed the Future: Norman Bel Geddes
April 26, 2017
B. Alexandra Szerlip will discuss her soon-to-be-released book, The Man Who Designed the Future: Norman Bel Geddes and the Invention of Twentieth-Century America. A ninth-grade dropout who found himself at the center of the worlds of industry, advertising, theater, and even gaming, Norman Bel Geddes designed everything from the first all-weather stadium to Manhattan’s most exclusive nightclub to Futurama, the prescient 1939 World’s Fair exhibit that envisioned how America would look in the not-too-distant 1960s.
Bel Geddes was central to the history of American innovation. He presided over a moment in which theater became immersive, function merged with form, and people became consumers. A polymath with humble Midwestern origins, Bel Geddes’s visionary career launched him into social circles with the Algonquin roundtable members, stars of stage and screen, and titans of industry.
B. Alexandra Szerlip was a two-time National Endowment for the Arts Writing Fellow, a Yaddo fellow, and runner-up for London’s Lothian Prize for a first biography-in progress. She has contributed to The Paris Review Daily and The Believer, among other publications, and has worked in professional theater, as a book editor, sculptor and graphic designer. Raised on the East Coast, she lives in San Francisco.
Wednesday April 26, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
The Cooper Union, NYC