If you have been reading my site, you know how much I appreciate good design, and how important I think design can be to building successful enterprises. But it is also a lot of fun, especially for our eyes.
And one of the most fun aspects of design is the way that we and our artists and illustrators envision the future. If you are my age, you remember rocket cars and the Jetsons’ lifestyle that we all expected to come about by now. I think the boattail Buick Riviera was one of the few cars that actually turned out looking like “cars of the future” were supposed to look!
(See images of those wonderful Buicks here: http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&um=1&ei=KFkpS9-4HoyVtgfy2LzICw&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&q=boattail+riviera&spell=1&start=0 )
There are a number of books full of illustrations of “tomorrow.” One of the best and most thorough is Yesterday’s Tomorrows: Past Visions of the American Future by Joseph J. Corn and Brian Horrigan (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996).
This 150+ page paperback book was first issued in conjunction with an exhibit at the Smithsonian. It is full of illustrations of the city of the future, the home of the future, the transport of the future, and even the war of the future, as envisioned by science fiction artists and visionaries ranging from Buckminster Fuller to Norman Bel Geddes.
The book includes images of some of my favorite movie sets (like those from 1926’s stunning Metropolis and 1936’s Things to Come), streamlined cars and trains, futuristic airliners, cities of the future replete with overhead highways, and kitchens from outer space – or at least from the sputnik era of the 1950s, which was pretty close. It even contains some of the amazing futurist drawings of the great architectural renderer Hugh Ferriss. I know of no other concise guide to this much cool design and dreamy images.
Maybe this book will inspire you to sketch up your own images of some imagined future.