future housing

It’s always risky to predict what’s going to happen in the future. All those cheesy “house of the future” demonstrations from the 1950’s turned out to be pretty wrong. Those who predicted our colonization of the moon, unfortunately, have yet to be proved correct.

the simpsons (c) foxThe problem is that the general population is too reluctant to adopt new technology or welcome in change. Use a PDA for a cellphone and you look like an idiot, even though that PDA might be far more functional than a standard phone. Wireless Internet should be ubiquitous, but some people still don’t use it. The same problem is true for housing. Designs have undoubtedly changed over the years, but nothing radical has occurred.

Then people try stuff like this. While trying to be revolutionary, the houses just seem too “weird” for acceptance by the general public. Who would want to live in a house made of glass so that everyone could see what you’re doing? Who would want to live in a house made of cardboard…how long would that last in a storm (even with a plastic roof)? Only a homeless man would dream of a house made of cardboard.

The key to revolutionizing the housing industry is doing it in steps. First we make a mass-produced, single-material home that looks much like modern houses and is assembled in a traditional way. Then we gradually alter the design, and eventually end up with a more easily distributable product. But we avoid the cardboard at all costs.

4 thoughts on “future housing

  1. Actually, I think that Sears tried that back in the 70’s. It was slightly different, in that the person would pay for all the building supplies they needed to make the house (all the wood, windows, paint, concrete) (for far under what it would cost to buy it all separately). The supplies were pre-cut, labeled, and near perfect fit in every case. The package came with very detailed step-by-step instructions, that seemed very easy to follow. It wasn’t like there wasn’t variety, there were nearly 30 different models (if memory serves me correctly), so what exactly went wrong??

    My idea is that people aren’t afraid of trying the new things as much as they are (as you have already stated) afraid of being outlandish. Also, people like for the details to be hidden from them. Another big thing people care about is price. Usually when the future technology gets to be close to the same price range as the old technology was in its peak, the mass production switches from the old product to the new.

    Lastly, with enhancing technology almost always comes with an additional layer of complication, which will translate into another place where something/anything could go wrong.

    In effect, housing follows the same lines. Whereas home design hasn’t gone any exteriorly noticeable changes, the way they are built is much improved. And when you are talking about an investment the size of a house, whoever gets the lowest bid wins, and no one will want to take the chance that their investment will rust, crumble, or break, in the next decade or so. Houses really only serve one function: to keep the weather out for a long time. The traditional methods work pretty well, and most people see no need for improvement.

  2. actually unique husing design is more common than you think (or at least led me to beleive you think). the problem is in where we live. louisiana isnt exactly the hot spot for experimentation on any level. but out west and in other countries you see a lot more. ill try and find some links.

  3. Really? I was certainly under the impression that only those who could afford the finest architects lived in unique houses, and that no matter what part of our country you visit, the vast majority of houses will look very similar (with only a few main styles). I mean, I’ll wait to see some links.

  4. Yeah. I used to get some house-building magazine and the styles ran the gamut. They were for the most part done by the home-owners themselves over time. There were some made with coke cans as the insulator. Some with car tires as the foundation and shredded tires as the insulator. There were homes built underground, so that the inside temp would remain about the same all year around. There were a lot of cool things.. I don’t remember the name of the magazine, but I will check it out.

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