A Visual History of the Future: DVD Extras

Our favorite images that didn’t make it into the main series

“Your health will be better since doctors can now use the voice of the atom.” Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation, 1955.


A Visual History of the Future: Afterword

Many 20th-century artists who visualized the future are largely unknown today—but their ideas have lasting impact

“Each worker has a part in Utah’s future.” Utah Radio Products Company, 1943.


A Visual History of the Future: Episode 5

Could fantastical plans for the cities of tomorrow solve the real problems of urban life?

“The Lure of the City.” Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow, 1929.


A Visual History of the Future: Episode 4

Walt Disney had a vision for tomorrow—and the means to sell it

“Magic Highway U.S.A.” Walt Disney’s Disneyland, 1958.


A Visual History of the Future: Episode 3

In the 20th century, publishers blended education and entertainment to satisfy a science-curious public

“Rocket Mailmen” using “recently perfected ‘rocket assists’ which were originally developed to help infantrymen leap like grasshoppers. Just how such equipment works is still a military secret.” Arthur Radebaugh, Closer Than We Think, 1958.


A Visual History of the Future: Episode 2

Post-war artists sold us a vision of a luxurious, automated suburban lifestyle

The Home of Tomorrow. Charles Schridde for Motorola, 1961.


Skies full of personal flying vehicles, robotic servants, and mail carriers with jetpacks. Decades ago, artists’ imaginings formed high expectations about the world to come. Were these just fantasies — or was it the work of pioneers whose visions of the future actually helped to shape it?

“A Visual History of the Future” will explore how imagery in advertising, magazines, and other media has been used to inspire, sell, and build our ideas of the future. We’ll look at everything from the home to infrastructure to the cities we live in — at ideas that ranged from the insightful to…


A Visual History of the Future: Episode 1

In the 19th century, rapid technological change was the catalyst for artists to start visualizing the future

“The Little Eagle-Nest Robbers.” Jean Marc Côté, 1899.


“Preview of Your Future.” Advertisement for Kaiser Aluminium, 1952. Image source: fulltable.com

Skies full of personal flying vehicles, robotic servants, and mail carriers with jetpacks. Decades ago, artists’ imaginings formed high expectations about the world to come. Were these just fantasies—or was it the work of pioneers whose visions of the future actually helped to shape it?

A few years ago, Next editor Duncan Geere and I were thinking about how to illustrate an article. We had a general concept for it: a futuristic class of pupils learning how their ancestors used archaic sources of fuel in the 21st century, while out a window clean energy powered a utopian city.

Looking for…


Cutaway view of Bernal Sphere, 1970s. Image credit: NASA

In 1966 Norman Rockwell really needed a spacesuit — and NASA didn’t want to give him one. The space agency had hired the artist to visualize the Moon landing long before it would actually happen. To do that Rockwell needed to know what the astronauts would be wearing. He needed details. For him, telling the big story meant looking at the subtle facets that compose the whole. However, with the intense secrecy surrounding the mission, the answer to his request kept coming back the same. Denied.

For Rockwell, who was used to laboring over a painting for weeks or months…

Darren Garrett

BAFTA-winning creative director for digital things, games, animation & storytelling in general. Part of team https://howwegettonext.com & http://i-love-hue.com

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