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Sunday
Mar182007

Monsanto House of the Future (1957-1967)

 


Lately, there have been a lot of posts on different blogs about the Monsanto House of the Future. The house of the future featured the great conveniences of 1986. Opened in 1957 in Disneyland and closed ten years later it has become the house of the paleo-future. Above, I've linked to video of this incredible, paleo-futuristic house.

 

Check out what people have to say at Disney Blog, Stuff From the Park, Yesterland, Daveland's construction post and a comprehensive year-by-year page from Daveland.

See also:
The Road Ahead: Future Homes (1995) 15 March 2007

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Reader Comments (12)

I remember touring the Monsanto House of the Future at Disneyland when I was a child. While I wasn't crazy about the bright turquoise exterior, I loved the x-shape floor plan and the gentle spiral steps to the door (theylook as if I could almost climb them in my power wheelchair!). I was so disappointed when the house closed, and that it never came to market. It did, however, inspire me to design my own dream house of the future, an octagon with a central sunken area with a large floor drain. It was multi-function: you could operate a plug and use it for swimming (or a jazuzzi), and also as a simple way to keep floors clean. Each room entry faced the area, so you could muck out the rooms and simply send the dirt down the drain!

August 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

That girl about half way through annoys me. She looks like a hyper-nice freak.

September 10, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I've seen a bunch of these, and they all seem so unimaginative. Why did everyone assume that social trends and gender mores would not alter at all? I mean, people in the 60s very very different from people in the 20s, so why just project existing paradigms onto some vaguely (and not very imaginatively) conceptualized future?

Phew.

January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

It is very reminiscent of the Dymaxion House by the architect R. Buckminster Fuller. A virtual tour can be seen a Henry Ford Museum’s web site. If you’re fortunate to live locally to the museum they have a restored one that can be walked through.

January 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

That girl with the fixation on social trends and gender in the future is tiresome - enjoy the site and get over it - it's what makes it paleo-future. Too, I'm curious what you have in mind for our intellectually stunted paleo-futurists?

March 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The question of why documentary "looks into the future" never assume changes in social or gender roles is interesting. I think social speculation is too scary for the intended audiences, who seem instead to want a moment of forward pretend-time-travel from which they can return safely to the "normal" present with their assumptions intact and (here's another underlying reason for these ventures) an interest in buying something like what they've seen.

May 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermin0taur

Actually, thinking about it, gender mores and social trends didnt really change all that dramatically before 1957. That change was brewing in the air then. We've seen the major changes in those areas and can imagine more change. 1957 people never saw that change and so didnt expect any in the future. They lived as their parents, and grandparents......

June 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

At that time, Monsanto was pushing technology...specifically plastics. Plastics were the new wonder material that would streamline our lives with their strength, light weight, ease of manufacture and affordable pricetag. With their "House of the Future" they were demonstrating all the myriads of uses for this space age material. The intent was to sell all the conveniences of plastic to the housewives of the
50's. As for predicting future trends in society...that is far more dificult than predicting technological trends, and being offended by or feeling superior to the people of the time simply because they didn't forsee the society that we have today, means your missing the point here.
BTW, Monsanto was right about plastics cause you wouldn't be reading this on your flat screen monitor without it.

December 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

"Just one word. Are you listening? Plastics."

Concerning societal roles in the future: this was an exhibit in Disneyland. Generally, futuristic social mores and roles are a little too scary for people who expect family-friendly contexts. Not saying it's right or wrong, but that's the way it is.

March 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

I think the dishes in that kitchen are Starburst. I have the same ones. Great pattern.

March 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDee

It looks like a giant pop-up camper.

May 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFarley

I only learnt about this extraordinary project after purchasing a 1962 copy of the Daily Mail Book of House Plans ( on ebay ).

I was born on 27th June 1957 ( 2 weeks after the opening )!

In early 1958 Monsanto opened a new plant in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, where I grew up ( it employed 800 people ) - my father worked in the Plant from the day it opened till the day it closed in 1983. Today few people remember it.

We had Acrilan carpets throughout our house ( and they never wore out ) - why can't I buy them anymore?

I became an Architect in 1983 ( and run my own small practice in Derry, N. Ireland )

So I can't believe that I've only learnt about the House of the future - it must have been truly amazing to witness.

Paul McGarvey RIBA

September 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaul mcGarvey RIBA

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