Aesthetics Wiki

Retrofuturism is a movement in the creative arts showing the influence of depictions of the future produced in an earlier era. If futurism is sometimes called a "science" bent on anticipating what will come, retrofuturism is the remembering of that anticipation. Characterized by a blend of old-fashioned "retro styles" with futuristic technology, retrofuturism explores the themes of tension between past and future, and between the alienating and empowering effects of technology.

Retrofuturism can be separated into several genres by the era of technology they were based on. The primary ones are steampunk, dieselpunk, atompunk, Raygun Gothic, and cyberpunk.


Retrofuturism has visual elements similar to vintage - older artwork and photos that tried to predict the future. Themes of space, robots, and minimalism are common themes of this aesthetic. Retrofuturism is the product of artists attempting to visualize the future with the viewpoint of a non-futuristic century.

  • Space (specifically planets and moons)
  • Robots, androids, and cyborgs
  • Futuristic old technology (ex. shiny and glowy telephone operators)
  • Flying consumer-grade vehicles (cars, skateboards, bikes, etc.)
  • Spaceships
  • Weapons that utilize light/lasers (ray guns, laser guns, lightsabers)
  • Almost surrealist architecture (see Surrealism)

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Retrofuturistic fashion includes simplistic clothing that incorporates futuristic technology/inventions.

  • Monocolour/bicolor clothing
  • Geometric clothing (see Avant-garde)
  • Holographic designs (see Holosexual)
  • Shiny clothing (by latex, tinfoil, etc.)
  • Clunky, robotic clothing
  • Glowing accessories (see Glowwave)
  • LED/technologic visors
  • Astronaut suits



  • Back to the Future Part II (1989)
  • The Star Trek series (1979-present)

TV Shows

  • Babylon 5 (1994-1998)
  • The Jetsons (1962-1987)



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