f u t u r o

Futuro - A New Stance For Tomorrow
(Futuro - tulevaisuuden olotila)

Director: Mika Taanila [info]

Documentary / 30 min. / Finland 1998

What the authorities say about Futuro:

"A good momentum and a gorgeously eerie atmosphere. Though it's a Finnish production, FUTURO captures the degradation of the American spirit." Joseph Lanza - author of Elevator Music, The Cocktail and Gravity

"If you haven't seen the film yet, start donating your vital organs now to pay a trip to the nearest film festival showing this Mika Taanila's masterpiece, or chain yourself to the door of your local TV station, and tell them you're not going to leave before they have ensured themselves the rights to show the film. A must see if you're a pop culture fan or retro-design freak." DJ pHinn, ex-Club Telex

"An extraordinary collage of bright colours, big sunglasses, flared trousers, an d belief in utopia and the future. Taanila's skill is evident in his ability to rhythmically interleave traditional interviews with archive material. The half-hour film is a visually interesting and totally absurd true story about the way a local invention can expand to become a global fashion phenomena." Susanna Pettersson, NU - The Nordic Art Review

"This brilliantly researched documentary shows the path from ambition to marketing disaster: 'we should have appealed to pharmacists', believed one expert." Moira Jeffrey, The List, Edinburgh

"A Fab documentary of an era where technology seemed to have all the answers. A fascinating vision of one particular moment in time of optimism, viewed from a more cynical pre-millennium viewpoint." Brief Encounters catalogue, Bristol

"A film that breathes of "global elasticity" and reminds the viewer of the insuperability of Finnish Design." The jury of XXIX Tampere International Film Festival


The Finnish architect Matti Suuronen designed in 1968 Futuro, a house made of plastic, resembling a flying saucer and reflecting the 60's optimism of space travel. This was another classic of Finnish design alongside the famous ball-shaped "globe chairs" by Eero Aarnio (picture below).

This film by Mika Taanila (also known for the Muzak documentary Thank You For The Music) chronicles the rise and fall of Futuro along the 70's oil crisis, which rendered the serial manufacture of the plastic house nearly impossible.

More on the film

Futuro 1 Futuro
 by  Thames Futuro 2 Futuro 3 Futuro 4 Ball chair

Images (from the left):

An ideal week-end cottage for the family of tomorrow;
Futuro by the Thames River, London, 1969;
Director Mika Taanila in Ahvenanmaa, 1997;
Futuro is easily transportable. Stockholm 22 October 1969;
Futuro house was originally designed to be an after-ski cabin. Here in the picture at the altitude of 3000 metres in Dombai, Soviet Union.
(More Finnish design: the globe chair of Eero Aarnio, this version with a telephone)

A book on Futuro:

Futuro. Tomorrow's House from Yesterday. Marko Home & Mika Taanila (edit.)

The Futuro house designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen was first introduced in 1968. Its flying-saucer-like elliptical shape still retains its appeal even today, reflecting the space-age optimism of the sixties and a utopian vision of 'a new stance for tomorrow'. This book edited by Marko Home and Mika Taanila is a detailed history of the Futuro as well as a journey to our recent futuristic past. The book will be published in Finnish and English in four-colour coffee-table format. Also included in the same package is a DVD featuring the 29-minute documentary film 'FUTURO - A New Stance for Tomorrow' (1998) plus 45 minutes of rare amateur film and other archive footage.
Out in October 2002, Desura Books, Finland.

More info:

See also:

Futuro @ Wikipedia

http://www.futuro-house.net - tracking all locations of Futuro houses around the world

Futuro @ Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish)

Another Futuro story @ Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish) Futuro @ Tefatet (in Swedish)

70s - The Futuro House

Futuro @ modern|postmodern

Futuro @ Google [search results]


Eero Aarnio - Official Website

Eero Webzine

Les Années Pop (in French)

a / r / c / h / i / g / r / a / m /

Ruusujen aika - a Finnish sci-fi film of the same era

Space: 1999 - if you're a fan of the 1960's/70's futuristic designs, check this TV series out