The Future Knocks Again
July 10, 2008, 2:19 pm
Filed under: Design, North America

A new dream home at Disneyland recalls the 1957 Monsanto House of the Future.

The Dream Home has little of the overt ambition or the Jetsonian sleekness that one expects from a cutting-edge environment. It is not even a free-standing house, but rather a series of rooms on the ground floor of the Innoventions building. It is decorated in a mix of Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts styles, all wood, warm earth tones and nailed-down knickknacks — a mildly hopeful and unthreatening place. One like today, only better. The future, such as it is, is hidden in the wiring behind the walls.

All this is worlds away from Disneyland’s original utopian domicile, the 1957 Monsanto House of the Future, sponsored by that company’s plastics division. Meant to represent life in 1985, it was a paradigm-shifting, atomic age showplace of sleek surfaces and synthetic materials. “Hardly a natural material appears anywhere,” the original narration bragged.

Design Notebook – The Future Knocks Again –


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