speakers and amplifiers now hinting at a music industry since shattered by the internet age. Furniture was loud and proud with bright candy colours and plastic materials such as Ettore Sottsass’s Casablanca sideboard. Prototypes revelled in the absurd including Martine Bedin’s super- lamp on wheels which could trail behind her like a dog. Popular cul- ture was embraced too, with Mickey Mouse’s ears as handles on kettles. Commercialism ruled as in, notably, Richard Prince’s use of the iconic Marlboro Man advertising image in some of his photographs and Ai Wei Wei’s daubing the Coca Cola logo on a Han dynasty urn, ironically upping its value. Most interesting is the fusion of the disciplines as film, music and dance appropriated art from his- tory to define identity and push boundaries and artists moved into new territories, such as architects designing jewellery. The development of this cross pollination to today is evident at the concurrent Barbican show, until February 19, OMA/Progress, as the Post-modernist-born arch- itecture firm OMA, founded by ‘starchitect’ Rem Koolhaas in 1975, reveals its processes, un- built models and highlights, inclu- ding their innovative work for the Prada fashion house, designing abstract catwalks, ground-brea- ing flagship stores with display windows in the pavement and its own, new Foundation. Melanie Abrams The 70s and 80s are back. Punk looks are bang on trend and Margaret Thatcher, aka Meryl Streep, returns on the big screen. Complementing these retro trends is ‘Postmodernism: Style and Sub- version 1970-1990’, the ambitious show of art, design and archi- tecture at the Victoria & Albert Museum until January 15. Postmodernism threw out Mod- ernism’s uniformity and simplicity. In came complexity, contradiction and the tenet of anything goes. Even destruction became art as Alessandro Mendini set his chair – and the phenomena – alight in a Genoan quarry in 1974. Old and new were juxtaposed, clashing for example French Bar- oque with contemporary pop looks in Pieter de Bruyne’s Chan- tilly Chest . Industrial and everyday parts became the new materials – notably Nathan Silver’s shiny chrome and red Adhocist Chair made from steel gas pipe, bicycle parts, auto bumper bolts as well as wheelchair wheels and tractor seat. Destruction and deconstruction became the bywords for style. High end jewellery mixed pre- ruined objects with traditional precious gems such as Bernhard Schobinger’s titanium zinc neck- lace with porcelain, silk and coral. And bag lady chic ruled fashion with Rei Kawakubo’s rips and frays or Vivienne Westwood’s punk patchworks. Waste was sca- venged from junkyards in such pieces as Ron Arad’s Concrete Stereo, its broken turntable, 10. GALLERIES DECEMBER 11 From top: O MA ‘Prada Transformer’ at the Barbican. Ron Arad ‘Concrete Stereo’ 1983’ and Nathan Silver ‘Adhocist Chair’, 1968 both at the V&A Unpacking post modernism . . .