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Science
ARCHIVE HOUR: HOUSE OF THE FUTURE
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Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen goes back to the future of architecture
Saturday 26 March 2005 8.00-9.00pm

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen travels through five decades of the House of the Future, exploring how British architects have responded to the promise - and threat - of new technology.

Laurence Llewellyn Bowen and Prof. Chris Wise with a walking building.
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and designer Chris Wise with
a prototype walking building
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Fifty years ago the Ideal Home Exhibition's House of the Future - set far ahead, in the year 1981 - was a vision in moulded plastic, complete with a couple relaxing in what seemed to be ultramodern underwear.

In House of the Future Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen looks back over half a century of such predictions of domestic bliss, tracking the rise and fall of faith in technology and its influences on futuristic visions of the home.

Radical architects in 1950s and 60s were inspired by space-age technology and their extravagant designs assumed unlimited oil and endless synthetic materials.

In the 1970s and 80s futurists worried that human activities threatened fragile planet Earth. 

Environmentally-aware architects dreamed of fuel efficient, low-waste, sustainable homes of the future.

Digital technology reached our living rooms in the 1990s.

Computer companies offered us digital slaves but one architect fought a lone battle against Big Brother, rejecting new technology in favour of Victorian pulleys and periscopes.

Laurence discovers that the house of the future from each decade says more about the age in which it was conceived than the future it was conceived for.
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