This unique, visually exciting look at the evolution of nightclubs across America and Europe since the 1960s reveals an unwavering truth about club culture—the one constant is change.
Opening with the psychedelic haunts of the 1960s New York pop art scene and closing more than half a century later with the rise of post-club happenings, Temporary Pleasure shows how nightlife spaces have evolved to meet the needs of their generation, and how each generation was seeking something a little different from the one before.
Each chapter focuses on a distinct phase and city: Italy’s politically radical clubs of the ‘60s; New York City’s disco scene; Detroit and Chicago’s house and techno paradises; Ibiza’s counterculture communal retreats; Britain’s rave culture; and Berlin’s techno scene. The clubs come to life in double-page spreads that feature specs and detailed profiles. Author John Leo Gillen offers his take on various important cultural, design and architectural details, while numerous photographs offer their own vibey stories. The book features interviews with people who were involved in a number of the scenes included, from NYC disco mainstay DJ Justin Strauss to Ben Kelly, architect of Manchester’s legendary venue The Haçienda.
As the world emerges from its Covid-induced isolation, this celebration of crowded rooms, dance-worthy beats, and communal transcendence feels more important than ever.
John Leo Gillen is a temporary space designer and producer who was raised in the nightlife industry through his family’s nightclub business in Ireland. He initially began archiving ephemeral club spaces on Instagram under the banner Temporary Pleasure, before turning the project into a collective of architects, event producers, and creatives who are generating new ways to rebuild clubs through design labs, building workshops, and pop-up DIY spaces. He holds a master’s degree in Ephemeral Architecture and Temporary Spaces from Elisava in Barcelona, and lives in London.