Looking back at the now iconic stereotype of the future, from Verner Panton's 1967 Panton Chair to the TV series The Jetsons, Alice Rawsthorn reviews the new technologies shaping a very different picture of the future. What will the future look like? Whenever a hotel, motorcycle, dress, trash can or just about anything else is described as “futuristic,” it is usually because it is designed in a style that harks back to the 1960s space race.

There is another visual stereotype of the future, the dystopian spectacle of chaos and decrepitude portrayed in Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1972 sci-fi film “Solaris” and a succession of schlockier movies, but in design terms this aesthetic is more accurately described as beaten up than futuristic. By contrast, the smooth curves, glossy plastics and bold splashes of color in the sets of Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” and the TV series “The Jetsons” have dominated our visual perceptions of the future for over half a century. continues...

 

 

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