Source: Andrey Suslov/

It was predicted that in 2033 a house would be able to look after itself with minimal human input

Living smart

This week, Building does that thing where you go back in time and smile wryly at what people in the past thought the future would be like. Maybe somebody could come up with a name for it. It’s a shame “Back to the Future” has already been taken.

In 2003, Building considered what housebuilding and living in a house might be like in 2033. Some guesses were close to what we predict today– others less so.

The imaginary diary of a future site worker records a life where the “robotic lifter does most of the hard work … I decided to go to the gym before work this morning. Now there is not so much lifting, I have to watch the waistline”.

Absolutely everything in the house of 2033 was predicted to be intelligent. The toilet “analyses waste and emails you and your doctor if it detects any problems”. The bricks were imagined to be a “structurally insulated panel system”, which “contain sensors and microprocessors that will give the building management system precise information” – for instance, closing windows or turning off heating.

It’s almost as if the creators of Hive smart home products were reading Building …


Click here to read the full article from 4 July 2003