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House of the Future: Then and Now

A comparison of how far imagination has taken us

I’ve got to thank Arroll Gellner for bringing back memories of my trips to Disneyland. The Inman News reporter recently wrote about the evolution of futuristic homes by starting with the theme park’s unusual attraction during the 1960s. Called “The Monsanto House of the Future”, the plastics company-sponsored home was a peek at how domestic life will change in 1986. I began searching for images of the house during its glory days and this video tells much more:

That’s something that your kids will laugh at these days (if only your daughter would help set up the table like the lass in the video, right?)! But imagine if you were toddler in 1957 when this first opened. I’m sure your mouth-wide-open look will be a picture-perfect shot. Who would have thought that come 2010, those vinyl wire coating, vinyl floor coverings, and other plastic products would become just another ordinary commodity? And the push-button, hands free telephone tops it all!

In 2008, a new version was made. The Innoventions Dream Home takes us to house of the future. The 360-degree home tour makes you want to build something closer to what Disney has done. In cooperation with some companies like Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft, the house is a technological/architectural marvel of its kind.

If it took such a short time to transform millions of homes like Monsanto’s version in the past, I wouldn’t be surprised if my neighbor one day invites me to check out her speech recognition system inside the kitchen.

As for me, I’d save a lot to get that cool mirror in the video. I’m serious.

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