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  • What an extraterrestrial coincidence! Today’s Helsingin Sanomat (Finnish newspaper with widest circulation in country) had one-page-story about Futuro house, an UFO-shaped “retro home of the future” designed in 1968 by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen.

    Then five minutes after reading a newspaper story I stumbled on Rob McMurray’s Cowbird story “A different time”.

    Original Futuro house was designed as a ski cabin, a resting place on skiing trips. The furniture of the house included six bed-seats and a fireplace.

    Futuro house reflected full scale optimism of sixties: In the future people would have more leisure time and money to spend on skiing and barbecuing and enjoying. Mobile living was to be the reality before next millennium. And with Futuro house people could take their home with them and live happily ever after like nomads.

    The Futuro house was entirely made of plastic, the wonder material of sixties. The brightly coloured house weighed only about four thousand kilos with full furniture and it was moveable by helicopter.

    The plan was to mass-produce Futuro houses by tens of thousands as luxury holiday apartments around the world.

    About sixty to eighty dwellings were made. Then came the oil crisis of 1973 and the price of plastic rose up to the outer space. And the production stopped.

    There are only 40 something Futuro houses left in the world. Four in Finland, about a dozen in United States (one in New Jersey clearly), eight in New Zealand (a bunch of futurists living there!).

    Nobody knows the exact amount because Futuro houses of the world haven’t stayed in one place. This year 2012 Helsinki is World Design Capital, and they have restored and just opened one chicken yellow (wow!) Futuro house with its original interior on a back yard of WeeGee Exposition Centre. You can go in, sit down and dream about combined skiing and space travelling there.

    There’s another one with original interior in Boijmans Museum in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

    But where exactly are other UFO dwellings hiding? If you Cowbirders have any pictures, please send one!

    I know that one dazzlingly white Futuro house is used as a ski cabin in Kaukasus mountain range in Russia. That’s really cool. I would like to barbecue there.

    Nearly everybody believed in UFOs in sixties. And nearly everybody was certain that thousands of Earthborn would live in space by 2000! What a wonderful decade that was. This flying saucer design is something that tells us that in sixties people stared up at sky and stars a lot more more than at their toes.

    I think nowadays it’s vice versa: we stare down at our toes and earth much more than up at the stars.

    Futuro house isn’t only UFO design from those pre oil crisis days. In the picture you can see today’s news page from Helsingin Sanomat and beside the page there’s Finnish air humidifier designed in those adventurous space odyssey days.

    It’s like a mini Futuro house! The name of the humidifier brand is UFOX, of course.
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