Tuesday, November 07, 2006

After the War... Suburbia

As early as 1943, America was planning to reshape the landscape after the war. One cover story in this issue of Look magazine says, "The American form of government - our natural resources and our tremendously expanded production - all these can be adapted to meet any postwar situation. Beyond question, if we use these intelligently, we can lift ourselves to a new level of living."Where would the Victory Highway lead? To the suburban home of the future."When this brave new world settles down after the war it will, sooner or later, live in a house of modern miracles," says the text related to the pages above and below. "For technology and production know-how, spurred by war necessity, have telescoped decades of progress in the last few years. Your new home will reveal these developments wherever you turn."Looking at this artist's interpretation of the future in American home design, its uncanny that only six years later there would be actual subdivisions of similar looking houses built by Joseph Eichler.


  1. Anonymous11:33 AM

    Of particular interest in looking at the growth of the Suburban Neighbourhood at this time would be the creation and job-expansion of the North American Auto Industry.
    The two go hand-in-hand.
    The largest employer in North America is the Auto Industry in all its various facets.
    You could say that the auto made these new Communities possible, while at the same time offering the jobs for people to be able to live in them. A genious system... but with no eye for the future. All growth, no chance for things to settle down to an equilibrium.
    The Auto industry is what drove the plastics and manufacturing industry with new technological developments so that the home of the future was possible.
    North Americans are tied to this industry, and it made our present way of life possible.
    I love these early Illustrations showing the 'future' of the '40s and '50s simply because of their optimism.
    What a time! Jobs were being created faster than products. Products were being created faster than people.
    And everyone thought they had a piece of the pie... In buying a brand-new modern house that their parent's could never have afforded that dream became a reality.
    Only now we are awakening from this dream to see what a mess the system is... not because its inherintly flawed, but becuase we have all been too busy living the dream to wake up .
    Boy, I want to live in the '50s... when I wouldn't have to think about this stuff.
    And I honestly think there is a vast number of people that still do live like they are in the innocent '50s... just go to Walmart any time of the day they are open and see the buying frenzy continue!

  2. Thanks for your insightful comment, anonymous! You anticipated my post for tomorrow, when I will show you some artwork related to the roads and cars that made the suburbs possible.