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Primitive Culture: A Star Trek History and Culture Podcast

Sep 12, 2017

Star Trek’s Design Influences.

Matt Jefferies, designer of the original Starship Enterprise, was less than complimentary when he saw its 24th-century incarnation in Star Trek: The Next Generation: “Gene asked me how I liked the show, and I said that he had taken the bridge of my ship and turned it into the lobby of the Hilton.” But throughout its 50-year history, Star Trek’s aesthetic has always moved with the times, assimilating current fashion trends and adapting basic designs to accommodate new ideas and new technologies.

In this episode of Primitive Culture, host Duncan Barrett is joined by Art Director Aaron Harvey, who also hosts our Star Trek: The Animated Series show Saturday Morning Trek, to talk about the design influences that have shaped the look of Star Trek over the course of half a century—from the sleek, contoured stylings of Kirk’s original Enterprise to the rough-and-ready look of the USS Discovery.

Intro (00:00:00)
Matt Jefferies’s Aeronautical Influences (00:02:45)
Color in TOS (00:17:02)
The Motion Picture’s Sense of Scale (00:23:03)
Nick Meyer’s Gritty Rebranding (00:28:46)
Fan Designers and the USS Discovery (00:36:04)
The Enterprise-D (00:45:45)
Voyager’s Open-Plan Office (00:53:06)
Okudagrams and LCARS (00:54:54)
Deep Space Nine’s Alien Aesthetic (00:59:20)
Designing for Prequels (01:05:15)
Final Thoughts (01:15:04)

Duncan Barrett

Aaron Harvey

Tony Black (Editor) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Amy Nelson (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)