The future we were promised

A friend on my futurists list point out a cool page featuring the art of A.C. Radebaugh, a futuristic artist from mid last century who painted visions of a future filled with circa Jetson-style houses and personal hovercraft. Modern conveniences run amok. My friend says it reeks of “insular US technocratic hegemony” but is “kinda cool in that T-bird-with-swept-back-fins way.” Indeed it is fun to look back and laugh at those who dreamed a different future which is now our present.

Ephemera Now is more of the same. Visions of a future of sleek design and retro-mod stylings. Turns out cheap and ugly design has amazing staying power after all.

These are excellent examples of past visions of the future that fail. Too much imagination. Too much faith in technology. What lessons can we glean from these visions for our own visions of our own futures? Do we even dare to have visions? Pity if we don’t. What will folks in 2070 laugh at?

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