"Home: Future Fantasies"

On December 21, 2012 the Center for Urban History was held a presentation by Bohdan Shumylovych, entitled "Home: Future Fantasies." The presentation, offered as part of the "Home: A Century of Change" exhibition at the Center, dealed with ideas of the home of the future, and dreams and anxieties connected with these ideas.

Various periodicals and films are fond of predicting what the houses of the future will be like, but our fantasies today are less radical than in the 1960s. Fifty years ago people had daring dreams and images of future that involved holographic projections in the living rooms, recognition technologies for residents of a house, the constant scanning of our physical condition and screening of our health at home, domestic robots and flying machines. Life seemed free of care and full of promise due to the development of science and technology.

At the same time, works of science fiction predict less optimistic aspects of future homes: police and government institutions having direct access to our homes and ability to monitor our communication; overpopulation forcing urban residents to live in small cells; growing internet capabilities (including simulation of bodily and other pleasures) making web surfing more attractive than boring reality. People, in their masses, will spend most of their time indoors at home, fading slowly. This will lead to the realization of the most typical fear of contemporary mass culture: the uprising of home robots against their masters. All of these are dreams and fears, and only part of them has the chance of ever becoming real; we can only dream to see flying machines and (safe) domestic robots in our generation.

Bohdan Shumylovych - manages multimedia library at the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe. Also he is giving lectures and is involved in research projects. He has a Master degree in Contemporary and Modern History from the Central European University (Budapest, Hungary, History Department, 2004-2005), an Art Historian's degree from the Lviv Art Academy (Department of the History and Theory of Art, Ukraine, 1993-1999) and has also taken classes at the Department of Project Management of George Washington University (Washington, USA, 2001-2002). He has studied and taught cultural and visual studies at Ivan Franko University in Lviv (Master Program in Cultural Studies) and has given lectures both in Ukraine and abroad. He has been awarded several grants and worked in audio-visual archives in Washington (Archive of the Department of Visual Arts of George Washington University) and Budapest (Archive of the Open Society Institute).