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The AIA Housing and Community Development Knowledge Community (HCD) is a network of architects and allied stakeholders that promotes equity in housing, excellence in residential design, and sustainable, vibrant communities for all, through education, research, awards, and advocacy.

Virtual Event: Exploring the Legacy of the Monsanto House of the Future

  • 1.  Virtual Event: Exploring the Legacy of the Monsanto House of the Future

    Posted 03-16-2021 10:54 PM

    Exploring the Legacy of the Monsanto House of the Future:
    A Creative Collaboration in Structural Plastics That was Ahead of its Time

    Virtual Event

    Thursday, March 18, 2021
    5pm - 6pm EST

    RSVP: http://aptne.memberclicks.net/message2/link/d7cd82fd-a8a3-4176-a103-f62c95d86057/1

    Monsanto House of the Future, Anaheim, CA. Image courtesy of Goody Clancy.

    Please join APTNE to find out what Disneyland, MIT ingenuity, and structural plastics all have in common! Take this nostalgic journey with us as we explore the legacy of a truly unique piece of architectural and structural engineering history.

    Opened at Disneyland in Anaheim, California in 1957, the Monsanto House of the Future was a masterwork of creative design and development in structural plastics that offers many lessons more than sixty years later. Undertaken in 1954 by the Monsanto Chemical Company, the project was a collaboration amongst Monsanto, MIT's Department of Architecture, and MIT's Department of Building Engineering and Construction.

    The goal of the project was to develop new applications for plastic materials in housing and other construction through creation of a futuristic "house of tomorrow." Rather than simply substituting plastics for other materials in traditional construction, the exercise sought to forge new residential concepts by exploiting the unique qualities of plastics. The project was well ahead of its time in modular, cellular construction, integrated design, doubly-curved architectural form, and procedures for practical development of new materials in the building industry. While the structure no longer exists, there are lessons to be learned from the technical aspects of this innovative structure, and the implications its design and construction have for similar cutting-edge initiatives today.

    Ronda Bernstein
    Historical Consultant
    Richmond, VA
    Facebook/Twitter/Instagram: @histpresinc
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