Predicting the Future / by Michelle Linden



During the 60s and 70s, designers all over the world were obsessed with the impending Space Age. Finnish architect Matti Suuronen did not escape the obsession, in fact he was one of the leading figures in the Utopian design movement. Incorporating elements of mobility, technological and material advances, as well as adjustments to family lifestyles, Suuronen created several designs that could easily be transported across borders of locale, economy, class, and time.

During this era, many designers attempted to project the future, imagining exciting improvements in society revolving around the advancements in space travel and living. While many of these predictions did not prove to be fruitful, a great deal of today's designs have a clear lineage tracing back to these space age movements.

Today too, we often find ourselves trying to predict the future... Whether we are projecting future traffic patterns, the effects of global warming, or the effect of our buildings on the local community, architects and designer are continuously looking towards the future. The big difference as I see it, is that we are no longer preparing for our future wide-eyed and excited about the possibilities, but rather we are often cautious, preparing for a future that could very possibly be more complicated and difficult than today. But, while the future could potentially be a scary place, it can still be thrilling for designers to predict and design for a happy, Utopian, futuristic society.

If you'd like a piece of this history, the Venturo shown above appears to be for sale.
See Happy Silly.