03 January 2012

Alternative Living Arrangements: Monsanto Magic

Possibly one of the oddest things about our generation is that we have no foreseeable vision of the future. Whether postmodernism has made cynics of us or we simply have no imagination, we don't seem to be working towards anything less abstract than "world peace." I'm not interested in how our society got to this point as much as I am by the different futures predicted by other generations. 2001 has come and gone, and we certainly aren't in a space odyssey. It's well past 1984 and I've yet to convert to newspeak. Theoretically in 2062, we will have lost all ground, inhabiting the Jetson's bright space place.

I always wondered what would happen if one of these were to run out of gas in the middle of the "road."

Still, the other day I stumbled over one of the coolest projections of the future I've seen. Be forewarned, I'm a sucker for innovation, especially when it comes to living environment and design. That being said, I present to you the Monsanto House of the Future:

There's one word. Plastics.

This house, installed in Disneyland in 1957, portrayed the projected living environment of 1986.
Dishwashing with ultra sonic waves?A chair that automatically adjusts for you? The smell of roses released into a room with your heat? The Monsanto house had it all, particularly, as I stated above, plastics. The idea was to display the various uses and the ways plastic could be employed throughout the home. In actuality, it really did help the growing plastic industry, "All told, 23 per cent of the plas­tics made in this country now go into construc­tion, compared with 15 per cent the year before Monsanto’s exper­i­mental house was built," says a 1960 article from Monsanto Magazine. Also, experimental was the installation of a microwave oven and closets filled with polyester clothing. Although polyester and microwaves have become commonplace in the American home, there were many innovations featured in the future home that are not so popular today. Most of these are part of the “suspended-in-air” theme that architect, Vincent Bonini used in his design. Admittedly, at 1,280 square feet, you would need that extra space.  Though, I'm not exactly sure how you'd keep warm with all those windows.

Unfortunately in 1967, Disney pulled the plug to install what was then Ariel's Grotto and now Pixie Hollow. However, the house was so durable that, "when demolition crews failed to demolish the house using wrecking balls, torches, chainsaws and jackhammers, the building was ultimately demolished by using choker chains to crush it into smaller parts" (my reader should know for better or worse I pulled that quote from wikipedia, but it is corroborated between my sources listed below). Now, they have installed a newer home of the future into innoventions at Epcot, but really, could it possibly be cooler than the original plastic wonderland?

not likely.
If they couldn't produce it by 1986, i suggest they begin in 2013. Seriously, I wish this was my house.
I mean look at that view.

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