The ‘House of the Future’ and the Toyota Prius – Looking to the Future of Sustainable Housing.

  • YEAR
    2006
  • AUTHORS
    Wood, Peter
    Skates, Henry
  • CATEGORIES
    2006 Conference Papers
    Sustainable design principles

Extract

ABSTRACT: In recent years the Toyota Prius has received popular support as a responsible vehicle
choice for drivers who wish to minimise the impact of their driving on the environment. Unfortunately
research has suggested that this may not be the case. This paper suggests that consumer preference
for visible displays of environmental responsibility can be more important to the environmentally
conscious than the actual environmental impacts. The authors refer to this practice as the ‘Prius Effect.’
In applying the Prius Effect to the field of architecture a comparative examination is made between the
House of the Future displayed by Disney in 1957, and Dilbert’s Ultimate House, a virtual showcase for
sustainable housing features initiated by cartoonist Scott Adams. In conclusion it is suggested that
changes that positively impact the environmental cannot be made without a willingness on the part of
consumers to change not only the appearance of their lifestyles, but that lifestyle itself.

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