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Tent-like spacesuits wired for TV and radio, plastic dwellings with hovercraft and robots in the kitchen and anonymous foamy houses whose bedrooms move like the colours of Rubik's Cube. Crazy?
Or ahead of their time? 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. producer Tracey Logan
House of the Future
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen was positively quivering with enthusiasm as he described his Archive Hour programme on the weird homes that have been designed as visions of the future, as much for the fact that R4 had let him loose on some unsuspecting and deadly serious architects as for anything else. He says the more outlandish designs for houses can best be described as "a fantastic barometer of how society feels about itself at the time". Hence, in the fearful 50s "everyone hopes technology will sort everything out." And what of the Good Life-style craze in the 70s, including recycling your own poo to create energy? "How vile is that?" retorts LL-B. This is an absolute delight and he must be given a Radio 4 series! Jane Anderson radio editor
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