CONTEST ENTRY: Motorola's House of The Future

Everyone gets Motorola for Christmas!
Motorola, 1962

full size 1188x726 and gorgeous!  Have a look at it enlarged.  And while I realize the demented impracticality of a pendant spiral staircase over a water feature, I still WANT this house.

The artist who painted these gems is Charles Schridde (who just passed in May of this year).  These ads and other vintage television ads can be had (at Amazon for an astonishing low price of 30¢, not a typo) in the book Window to the Future: The Golden Age of Television... by Steve Kosareff.   Further ad paintings by Schridde are HERE and HERE at

Two other Motorola House of the Future ads below (equally beautiful and retro-futuristic).


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Nothing about this one makes sense, but I want to sleep on that upper bed.  :D

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You complete me! I have a bunch of these Motorola ads, and I LOVE THEM. There's one that looks like a groovy villain's volcano lair, and I totally want that one.

I'm not actually to keen to go plummeting to my death over Mulholland some night when it rains a bit too hard. So I will come and party with you on your balcony, but I am NOT staying the night.

The lake house is perfect. Except for the mosquito-lover's open plan right down to the dock.
Reminds me of an in/out bin for work papers. :p

I didn't know Motorola was around that long in the West.
It looks like that to me, too, with a big ashtray sitting on the corner. The supports also look like big scissors. I would feel like I was living on a giant's desk. All it needs it a red minivan that looks like a Swingline stapler.
You can really see the Frank Lloyd Wright influence in these designs (or vice-versa). Is Motorola still in existence?

In any case, thanks for these. A splendid way to start the morning.
Dang, those are some cool looking houses, but I don't think I'd want to live in any of them.

I'd hate to think of how much it'd cost to heat/cool those huge open rooms. I also do not want to be the person responsible for cleaning those windows.

I'll bet that falling-related injuries are pretty common in the House of the Future.
Yeah, I always think of heating bills. Glass does not hold the heat in very well. I love the naked birch trees outside, though - as well as the matching onesies!
I think the idea is that you would be well off enough not to have to worry about energy bills and would have "people" to take care of the cleaning.

These days, though, people would be worried about more than the money. It's an energy issue, too. Carbon footprint and all that.
At the time that Philip Johnson died and there were write-ups everywhere about his life, there was one article that described his reaction when a journalist asked what the heating bills were for his famous Glass House (which is, after all, located in Connecticut):

"Goodness, I've no idea. They must be dreadful, mustn't they?" <<<----misquoted from memory, but that was pretty much what he said
To me the onesies make the kids look like they should be selling Underwood deviled ham.
I always think of the heating bills, too! And cleaning the windows, and people falling in ALL of those houses!

I think it's due to the fact that my parents, especially my mom, were very practical. When I was little, anytime I had a flight of fancy like these houses, the realities were pointed out.
The designers must have owned stock in Windex. The second pic - it would get oven hot in the summer. Cool for looking at the stars at night - but the reality is that condensation would often mar the view - and I can imagine there'd be plenty of bird-poop in hard to reach spots that would also ruin the view.
Given the futurist bent of the ads, I can't help but wonder what technologies would have to exist to make the house practical and not a horrible money sink. Would passive solar heating be sufficient to keep the house warm in winter?

You'd definitely need to have some sort of window-crawling cleaner robot, given that the windows in the last ad are at least 18 feet tall (assuming a 6' tall entertainment centre and eyeballing the window at roughly three times its height).

I believe the condensation issue can be solved with double-pane, argon-insulated glass. Of course these are extremely wealthy individuals we're looking at -- fabricating, transporting, and then installing a single sheet of glass that's 10'x18' is a nightmare that doesn't bear contemplating. So I'll throw in on-site (or better yet, in-frame!) glass fabrication as a prerequisite technology. I don't think 3D printers can do that yet, but...

(I think I'll stop now before I get any deeper into researching R-values of various plastics)
While you're researching, you can look into the history of the "Live Better Electrically" "Medallion Home" program - which was specifically intended to make houses consume *as much electricity as possible*, so that postwar investments in power plants could be recouped. People who are stuck in those houses today can be pretty miserable with their electric bills.

Also, electricity at that time, in constant dollars, cost a few pennies versus several dollars per kwh in 1900. I think I posted about this just a few days ago. In short: saving energy was NOT a priority at that time.
Yes! SO modern. Everyone pointed out the impracticalities, and I agree, but the design is really quite nice for a modern look. I'm a Colonial house person, myself, but can see the appeal of such a sleek design.
All these years I still absolutely LOVE these houses and wish I could live in one. You can find a full spectrum of these in any book on the golden age of advertising.