This is What Your House Will Look Like In 2020 NOT


Infographic at Unplggd
Apartment Therapy's Unplggd shows an interesting infographic of their vision of a new high-tech home in 2020. It is full of energy saving features and technological wonders, and is, I believe, profoundly wrong. Where do we start? Perhaps with the almost windowless single family unit sitting detached from its neighbours, in this dystopic vision of the future.

The homeowner can do all kinds of wonderful things remotely before coming home, such as preheating the oven (not necessary now, but in 2020?) and irrigate the lawn (are sprinklers still legal?), check all the security cameras and turn on the exterior floodlights (they are a bit obsessed about security here) and of course, set the thermostat, but more on that later.

The kitchen has nothing new to offer; the appliances will be controlled by the touch of your hands, (what are they now controlled by? noses?) and a simple screen will allow for reminders, recipes, schedules (hello, ipad or computer, what's new here?)

They do get it right on the lighting, but then they get all crazy about security, with an alarm, CCTV,system, intruder recognition software that instantly recognizes unfamiliar faces and a "compact weapon that will use force to prevent intruders from entering your house" and killing every Mormon and Jehovahs Witness that the face recognition software doesn't get.

This is the future of housing in America as seen by Unpluggd; a detached suburban armed camp surrounded by security systems, and filled with every kind of tech so that you never have to go outside and interact with your community. A world of nuclear families that appear to be prepared for nuclear war.


Image Credit Quadrangle Architects

I think I will commission my own infographic; The family will live in a low-rise multifamily building on a street where the kids can play in parks and even on the street instead of entertainment rooms.


Image credit New York Department of Recreation

Instead of the backyard pool, there will be community pool down the street in the public school the kids can walk to.


From What Can Kids Teach Us About Riding a Bike? It's Fun, Silly

The talking table in the kitchen won't tell you to pick up your kids from soccer, because you don't have to; they can ride their bikes safely on the separated lanes.


From The Kitchen of the Future Today

It won't tell you what to cook, either; you will decide that while stopping at the local greengrocer on the way home.


From New Lessons From Old Buildings

Before the OLEDs turn on and the thermostat kicks in to crank up the AC, you will rely on natural light and air from operating windows, shade from awnings and trees. Instead of turning on the dishwasher and washing machine remotely, they will be tied to the smart grid and run when there is surplus renewable power. Since the home will be small and the spaces flexible, tech will probably be small and mobile, no big screen here.


Image credit Steve Mouzon

But most importantly, Security will be provided by front porches and stoops where our neighbours, who we all know, watch for comings and goings. There will be no CCTV, the face recognition will be real, and the house will not be armed and dangerous.

Now that's a vision of housing in 2020.

More on Houses of the Future:
1939: The Electric House of the Future
It Was Fifty Years Ago Today: Monsanto House of the Future
Wayback Machine : A House of the 21st Century- From 1954 : TreeHugger
Wayback Machine 1968: What Will Life Be Like in 2008? : TreeHugger

Tags: Energy Efficiency | Green Building

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