If you ever felt that the future isn’t nearly what you thought it would be, then you should probably talk to the artists who made up these future houses.
Flying cars. Teleportation. Matter replicators that can make literally anything at the press of a button. These were the things we were promised in the future, and so far it’s been a huge disappointment.
But it’s not nearly as disappointing as going back in time and looking at what people thought would be our dwellings. People from the last century had some wild ideas on what it’d be like to live in the year 2019, and baby, did they get it wrong.
Courtesy of Angie’s List, we get a series of pictures that take illustrations from days gone by and reimagines them in modern computer-generated graphics. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and see how far off the mark these artists got things, shall we?
Even in the 1950s, people knew that the way we were living wasn’t sustainable on a long-term scale. Trash was building up, and smog was becoming a problem in urban centers across America.
So people began to imagine a more sustainable way of living. On the cover of Mechanix Illustrated’s June 1957 issue we are presented with the Dome House, a super sustainable, super ecological abode for you and your family.
The outer glass wall is made of “steel-hard glass”, which also heats the home during the winter. Everything is solar powered, including the vegetable hydroponics, interior lighting, and climate control. It’s your little bubble of heaven when the outside world is melting due to climate change.
In 1899, a book called En L'An 2000 was published in France that imagined what the year 2000 would look like. The book was just pictures, first designed as cigar box inserts, and then later as postcards. One of those pictures was made by the French artist Jean-Marc Côté and is called the “House Rolling Through The Countryside.”
Imagine Alice in Wonderland meets Mad Max. The moving house is presumably steam-powered, which was all the rage in the 1900s, while the architecture is very period. However, there are a few things the artist got right such as the rooftop garden and the aerodynamic wedge-shaped nose.
For the New York World's Fair in 1964, General Motors introduced a strange idea for the Futurama II Pavilion. GM engineers imagined a world where humanity had conquered the sea using tiny car-like submersibles to get around.
While we don’t really have much in terms of underwater colonies, this might be the closest the past has come to getting it right. We do have small underwater submersibles that are going on expeditions to the furthest reaches of the ocean at depths never before seen.
It’s also not a bad idea to explore underwater habitations given the fact that climate change will cause sea levels to rise. Maybe submerged housing isn’t such a bad idea after all.