I’ll start this off with a little whingey rant about how the future was supposed to be more futuristic than it has actually become. Suddenly it is the future with all the promised inventions to make our lives more leisurely. However, the corporations have seen to it that all the leisurely inventions have actually been invented to make people work harder and around the clock.
The computer? It means you can work all the time at home or in the office.
The cell phone? It makes it possible for everyone to call you at any time.
The television? It’s made great strides from large blocks of unoccupied time slots with test patterns, to cable, satellite and streaming networks that mean you have to keep up with the latest information 24 hours a day and also have to look presentable for teleconferences and skype conversations.
All the promised technology sort of snuck up on us. Without actually making things more convenient but instead more complicated. Where is my robot maid? And the moving sidewalks? Or the suction tubes for transportation? The flying car? The teleporter? Believe me if we had these things it would definitely be a way of increasing the workload.
The future is now. But why does it look so bleak? Not much has changed culturally in the last twenty years except for the technology. I’m so sick of the era that we live in. And don’t even get me started on reality T.V. The Real Housewives? They are the very symbol of everything that is wrong in the world.
So the other day I was driving along our lovely beach and looked up at the futuristic spaceship house that is a fixture and thought, what the hell happened? This and many other things that sprang from our race to reach the moon were meant to move us toward a more optimistic outlook. All the things mentioned above were offshoots of that exploration of modern design.
Well, we reached the moon and found a bunch of rocks that’s what. The race was over and we lapsed into post-modern, a dreary netherworld. We’re neither past, present nor future. So the 1990’s was a perfect time to reflect on all the design that proceeded the century. It’s 2011 now! Get over it already. We need another goal to focus on. We need another space race. We need something new for a change instead of rehashing what’s been done to death.
So anyway looking at the spaceship house I got to thinking about what concepts went into creating such a dwelling. It was designed by Matti Suuronrn to be the Futuro house a product of post-war Finland, reflecting the period's faith in technology, the conquering of space, unprecedented economic growth, and an increase in leisure time.
It was designed by Suuronen as a ski cabin that would be “quick to heat and easy to construct in rough terrain.” The end result was a universally transportable home that had the ability to be mass replicated and situated in almost any environment.
However, by the mid-1970s the house was taken off the market due to the Oil Crisis where tripled gasoline prices made manufacture of plastic extremely expensive. Once again a bright future turns bleak. That’s the case with the future and optimism, something always comes along to ruin it and we’re back to toiling again.
Imagine if the Futuro actually was a spaceship for the family on the go. Let’s also imagine it was capable of entering other atmospheres and was watertight. If we are going to trot out the past then let’s visit some of the better concepts. Ones that actually make it possible to escape this workaday prison of a corporate planet.