The World of the Future: Future Cities

Discovered this great photoset on Flickr today: The World of the Future: Future Cities from 1979.

Right off the bat I love the foresight of the solar-heated houses and the smart-ish wristwatch (though who would want to watch TV on such a small screen?).

The Home of the Future

The living room of the future, complete with a wall television (check), video phone (check-ish, if we count smart phones), antique film camera (check, especially if the guy in the back is film student using a Bolex), and bowl of fruit (check).

The technology I wish we had: drink serving robotic companion and that spaceship control panel-looking media center (do you think it plays records or is the laserdisc player of our dreams?).

The headphones, record collection, and Bolex camera in the back do make me wonder if we’re peaking into the home of future hipsters. Maybe those jumpsuits are the latest hipster fashion trend?


Perhaps the Russians have secret plans to send cosmonauts… (….maybe?)

The moonbase, appropriately named after Neil Armstrong and expected to be fully established by the year 2000. This underground base would be established for the noble purpose of mining the Moon of all of its natural resources and making money for the “Moonie” run corporations.

Check out the full photo set.

Jonathan Larson’s Unknown Retrofuturistic Songs

Joanathan Larson is best known for his ground-breaking rock-opera Rent, but before that success, he worked on a few other projects with more of a retrofuturist twist.

In summer 1989, producer Michael Barrett invited Larson to participate in a project for American Music Theatre Festival called Sitting on the Edge of the Future. It was a collection of music by various theater composers based on the “city of the future” featured at the 1939 World’s Fair.

Larson wrote a humorous song called “Hosing the Furniture” about a woman living cleaning her all-plastic house while contemplating her own insecurities with herself and her relationship with her husband.

Though the rest of the show (and the show itself) seems to be mostly forgotten, Larson’s contribution was not and he received the Stephen Sondheim Award for “Hosing the Furniture”.

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