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Entries in house of the future (36)

Friday
Aug032007

Going Backward into 2000 (1966)


This clip from the 1966 radio documentary 2000 A.D. is of a short interview with Philip Johnson, an architect that designed the John F. Kennedy Memorial in Dallas, Texas.

Mr. Johnson sounds quite pessimistic about the future of American cities but ends the interview with an oddly optimistic tone. Below are excerpts from the interview.

How about innovations for the American home? How will we be keeping ourselves warm or cool?

I don't believe in innovation. I think we'll probably go slightly backward in that regard. We've had too much and we can't keep the air-conditioning systems running that we've put in.

What about green grass and trees and fresh water and clean air?

Ah, green grass and clear water and beautiful air . . . it's a nice dream, uh, are we going to have it or not I think depends on what the people of America want.

See also:
2000 A.D. Radio Documentary (1966)

Monday
Jul232007

House of the Future for the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition (1956)

The photos and excerpts below are featured in the book Fifties Source Book and highlight the Kitchen of the Future built for the 1956 Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition.


Peter and Alison Smithson were major exponents of Modernist architecture in Britain, commissioned to design the House of the Future for the 1956 Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition. The house was an exercise in futurist design, built of pre-fabricated plastic. The Smithsons admired the manufacturing methods of the American auto industry. The mass production-based industries had already revolutionized half the house - the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room and garage. The architects advocated using factory-built, fitted kitchen units which could be easily updated. The House of the Future took the concept of flexibility beyond conventional open plan with only the kitchen and bathroom modules differentiated from the rest. An electrostatic dust collector was provided and cooking utensils incorporated their own heating elements. It was ideas such as these that impressed visitors to the exhibition rather than the building itself, with no external windows.

See also:
1999 A.D. (1967)
Monsanto House of the Future (1957-1967)
Frigidaire Kitchen of the Future (1957)

Friday
Jul062007

Closer Than We Think! Robot Housemaid (1959)


This Closer Than We Think! strip ran in the September 13, 1959 Chicago Tribune. Unlike Rosie the Robot, this robotic housemaid floats on a cushion of air.

The last paragraph describing, "a device to take food automatically from storage and cook it on a preset schedule," sounds very similar to the food preparation system in the 1967 film, "1999 A.D."


There'll be no servant problem in your home of the future. Instead, employ a robot - to cook, set the table, clear it off, wash the dishes and put them away.

A firm of industrial designers, Sundberg, Ferar, Inc., has already projected an idea for such a "mechanical maid." A self-propelled serving cart would move linen, glasses, china and silver to the table. After dinner, it would wash them and store them away.

Meanwhile, Westinghouse is researching a device to take food automatically from storage and cook it on a preset schedule. All milady would have to do is preset her menu and table arrangements each morning.

See also:
1999 A.D. (1967)
Call a Serviceman (Chicago Tribune, 1959)
Monsanto House of the Future (1957-1967)
Closer Than We Think! (1958-1963)

Friday
Jun292007

The Future of Real Estate (1953)


Steve over at Finkbuilt sent me a link to this great image of a couple buying a house in the (paleo)future. The publication appears to be from December, 1953.


See also:
Something must be wrong with its radar eye! (Chicago Tribune, 1959)
Monsanto House of the Future (1957-1967)
'Summer Terrace' All Year Round (1960s)

Monday
Jun252007

Monsanto House of the Future (1957)


This 1957 photo of the Monsanto House of the Future can be found in the Library of Congress collection.

See also:
Monsanto House of the Future (1957-1967)

Sunday
Jun102007

In a Cashless Future, Robots Will Cook (1996)

The January 24, 1996 New York Times ran an article titled, "In A Cashless Future, Robots Will Cook." An excerpt appears below. You can read the entire article here.

It's a typical day in the year 2006. After a hectic afternoon of negotiating contracts with business partners in Hong Kong, London, Moscow and the Bronx, you step from your office and into your kitchen. What's for lunch? You press a hand on your personal diagnostic machine, and quicker then you can say Michael Jackson does Sinatra, the unit checks your blood pressure, cholesterol and weight-fat ratio and reads out your nutritional requirements. Up pops suggested menus.

Kitchen robots quietly go to work moving ingredients from a "smart" refrigerator that is built into a microwave oven. A minute later, out rolls a garden salad with dill dressing and an open-face pork-roast sandwich on wheat -- no crust. After lunch, you return to your home office to finish some business in South Africa. If you're done early, maybe you can squeeze in a movie: "Gone With the Wind" you reconfigured with Bruce Willis as Rhett Butler.

For much of human history, talk of the future was relegated to the musings of self-described prophets, astrologers, dreamers and fools. But as the world lurches toward the 21st century, futurism is being taken more seriously by more people. Experts of all stripes are studying the patterns of the past and present, trying to project tomorrow. Forecasts of what might be spill out of corporate boardrooms, government offices, magazine stands, talk shows and bookstores like a bubbly brew.

See also:
1999 A.D. (1967)
Call a Serviceman (Chicago Tribune, 1959)
Something must be wrong with its radar eye! (Chicago Tribune, 1959)
The Electronic Brain Made Beef Stew (1959)
Monsanto House of the Future (1957-1967)

Tuesday
Jun052007

The Electronic Brain Made Beef Stew (1959)


Today we have the thrilling conclusion to the September 13, 1959 Chicago Tribune article, "Call a Service Man: This Cry Will Still Be Heard in Year 2000."

For lunch we eat scrambled eggs, prepared manually. Following lunch, still a bit unnerved by the sight of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches sticking to the ceiling, I accidentally dump garbage in the dishwasher and dispose the dishes in the garbage disposal unit.

Obviously, the wisest plan - at least for the remainder of the afternoon - is to sit down and read that science fiction thriller. However, as little things continue to go wrong all day, I am kept busy calling service men. Consequently, when my husband comes home that evening, the place is swarming with them.

"It's late," my husband says, glancing at his watch. "Maybe we'd better invite them to stay for dinner."

Seeking to ease the strain on the weekly food budget, I decide to select something economical. Beef stew seems a wise choice. "Let's see," I murmur while pressing a button, "we'll need 24 servings."

The electronic brain comes up with 48 servings of beef stew. Some are on plates, some aren't.

Automatically my husband says, "Call a service man."

"How can I?" I shout hysterically. "They're all here."

See also:
Call a Serviceman (Chicago Tribune, 1959)
Something must be wrong with its radar eye! (Chicago Tribune, 1959)