Twenty years ago, I got interested in those plastic -- usually white plastic -- outdoor chairs. "Resin casual furniture," as they were known in the industry. The most popular design was called a "bucket" chair.
Like all design trends, they had a story behind them and a set of social meanings ahead of them. In 1993, I wrote, "If nothing else, white resin chairs will become a signpost pointing to these times." Twenty-five years hence, when Max Spielberg makes a movie about growing up in the spiritual tundra of the late 1980s and early 1990s, he'll have to track down a bunch of them for all the outdoor scenes.
Today, I believe, the equivalent is the Keurig coffee maker and the little "K-Cup" pods that go in it. The K-Cup phenomenon went from nowhere to everywhere in a very short span.
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This episode originally aired on May 2, 2012.