This was the Future, Vol.23

typed for your pleasure on 18 March 2006, at 11.47 am

Sdtrk: ‘Scheisse’ by the Seconds

We here at ‘Shouting etc etc’ — and when I say ‘we’, I mean, myself and Sidore-chan, and when I say ‘myself and Sidore-chan’, I mean ‘myself’, cos she won’t write for this bloody thing.
Where was I? O yeah. We here at ‘Shouting etc etc’ don’t really have any hard and fast rules for building selections for the critically-acclaimed ‘This was the Future’ series — basically, it should be from the mid-to-late Fiftes up to the mid-Seventies, or it should look like it’s from that time period, and it has to be interesting. Having said that, I’m not a big fan of saucer-shaped structures. With the exceptions of the Chemosphere and the Futuro House (review pending), I just don’t really like them, as I think they’re kinda forced and cliched. ‘IN TEH FUTURE, OUR HOMES WILL BE SHAPED IN THE STYLE OF THE SAUCERS THAT WE WILL USE TO TRAVEL TO THE STAAAAARRS!!1!’ I always thought using that particular shape for a building was a little dumb. Perhaps it’s the lack of corners that bothers me, I dunno. But recently I happened upon a structure I’d never heard of before: the Evoluon in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

To celebrate the 75th birthday of the Philips company in Eindhoven in 1966, a special exhibit on science and technology was opened in the Evoluon, a futuristic building designed by L. Ch. Kalff. [..] The exhibition was designed by the British designer James Gardner. It was not a display of Philips products, but a museum with a message. Shown was how mechanisation and automating had increased production and made life more comfortable. You could see how modern society had its problems, from environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources to over population, but also how technology could offer solutions to these problems. Lots of science and its technical application could be seen.

Yes yes, it’s an enormous saucer. But the interior.. my christ, the interior. That was the best thing about it! If you got Broadcast and Ghost box round to your office and hired them as interior designers, you’d end up with something a lot like the Evoluon. It was a science museum constructed in the Sixties, so naturally you had to have a lot of concrete hexagons, and chrome spheres, and perspex boxes, and metal ‘sound sculptures’ and things of that nature — it’s a rule. See if I’m wrong.

The museum also featured its own amateur radio station, a robot called the ‘Senster’ which reacted to sounds, an oversized Nixie clock that was used to display the number of visitors every day, and if you couldn’t get a guide to assist you, you merely requested a ‘Gidofoon’, which was a cassette deck that played a tape which explained each exhibit. Brilliant.

The exhibition was closed in 1989 due to the declining amount of visitors; however, the Evoluon still stands today, as it has been repurposed as a business-oriented conference centre. Good to see that the building’s still around, but without the Philips exhibit, it’s definitely not the same..

Finally, you have to view the videos, also hosted on Kees’ Evoluon Site (that’s the good one, not the corporate one). Even the music’s perfect!
So I guess the saucer-shape isn’t too inappropriate, as it’s transported me back to the Evoluon’s heyday. Rather clever, indeed

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

This was the Future, Vol.41 on October 5th, 2009

This was the Future, Vol.24 on April 15th, 2006

7 have spoken to “This was the Future, Vol.23”

  1. zszsz writes:

    evil cute! :]

    what’re those giant cones?!!!

    if that international telephone line display globe thingy is one more of the many things that i’ve found out to have been simply thrown into a landfill & crushed: bitter tears . . .

    what the heck is that crazy lock-groove science experimental-case record being ‘read’ by the weirdest needle cartridge i’ve ever seen?

    that tower next to the ‘ufo’ is all wrong . . . a high thing for contrast: good/a boring ass high thing: bad . . .

    remember that wavy roofed thing in mt. clemens (a former bank probably)? probably the most ‘futuristic’ bldg. for counties in any direction, & not so that at that?

    after a decade of vacancy & me wanting to own it, it’s being turned into a . . . disco.

    blah. how trite . . .

    i’m gonna’ haveta’ checkout that site i cited (ha!) above more thoroughly, i think you might like it, no?

  2. Davecat writes:

    I’m guessing those cones are seats? Going by their scale in relation to what’s around them, I’m thinking they’re whimsical seats that you’d find in a museum of the FUTURE.
    And that record player is probably oversized, so people can see ‘This is how you extract Sound from a flattened disk of vinyl,’ etc.
    Yeah, I would hope that a lot of those exhibitions were saved in some form or other — I remember seeing somewhere that the ‘Senster’ still exists, although it’s no longer functional, but it’s being displayed as sculpture in the front garden of some office building in Holland..

    And that page on the agilitynut site seems to have Great Plundering Potential. *steeples fingertips together* Thanx for the link!
    I only vaguely remember that bank in Mt Clemens. Isn’t it odd, going by the first link you’d sent, how many banks were constructed in a unique and challenging style? A bank??

  3. zszsz writes:

    yeah, why the bank?

  4. SafeTinspector writes:

    Because they have money to hire architects?

  5. zszsz writes:

    we have all the money!

    yeah, unlike today – with all the ugly, squat, little, unsoaring, un-making-up-for-stature-with-dynamic banks cropping up all around – they probably did think more like little kids (we have all the money, therefore we can throw it around) than the tight-wad stone-squeezer-appointing, for-scraps-fighting boards of directors that evidently charter the bloody course of every massive saturation product & ‘small footprint’ ‘service provider’ out there . . . : [

    rrr, the joyless, soulless, selfish B@ERXSHS$DFDHBWFKJHVGFs . . . : ]

    even the ‘big money’ architecture nowadays that passes for the muckity-mucks own offices, homes & boutiques seems to be more cardboard dummy battleships than meticulously crafted & varnished & regularly waxed & oiled (?) galleons . . .

    i just quit a job “cleaning” banks . . . the key to making everyone happy? basically: don’t do anything/hide the real filth . . . you likely wouldn’t BELIEVE what slobs most tellers & managers seem to be . . .

    if i have a point, it’s: i don’t think they REALLY had the money, someone is starving somewhere . . .

  6. Jeff "Redneck" Lilly writes:

    WHOA, dude! I saw me one o’ them round flyin’ saucery things last week when I was back in the woods checkin’ my still… er, fences… and it hovered on over me and then there was this light and pretty soon I’m back in mah house with no hair an’ a big beepin’ thing stuck on my earlobe. It’s got them little blinky red lights and everythin’. Now, I got ta ask y’all… is aliens good eatin’, or what?

  7. zszsz writes:


    shit-hell, ah’ fry ’em up right out there on the inner state mid-argust . . . & i mean ON it . . .

    gotta’ watch fer’ them mah-tallic bones though, brah . . . ‘r whatever they’s . . .

    i suggest righteh’ y’all get yer’ hands on some a’ that action . . .

    got-damn dee-licous . . .

    but watch them metal bits, ooh-wee . . .

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