Journey of Discovery: Homes for Space Age

With 114 school teachers competing to become the nation's first teacher astronaut for a January flight aboard the Challenger spaceship and the advent of ordinary citizens traveling into space, the housing industry is tooling up for Space Age amenities.

Looking backward to see what's ahead, the lesson shows that the adventurous have always wanted new places to live, to get away from everyone else, to find that new frontier.

Most commonly, Southern Californians have long preferred living outside the city, in the valleys and at the beaches. Today, land-value economics dictate that inland areas will become our new growth sectors. Eight of the 10 "fastest growing cities" in the state are inland.

Looking ahead--or in this Space Age, looking up--we'll see the next generation of those adventurous souls wanting to leave us and journey into space. They will represent the new generation wanting to get away from it all and some of them--as far back as 1968--signed up with Pan Am for its proposed first moon flight. (The name of one real estate editor is among the 92,002 on that human manifest.)

But back to earth and the announcement by the National Assn. of Home Builders that a conference is planned Aug. 17-22 to delve into the Space Age needs of the housing industry.

Dubbed "The Renaissance Consumer: A New Age in Marketing," it is open to marketing professionals and is co-sponsored by the Institute of Residential Marketing, the educational arm of the NAHB Sales and Marketing Council. Sanford R. Goodkin, La Jolla-based realty consultant and president of the council, will moderate the sessions at San Diego's Executive Hotel.

Specialists from such fields as art, automobiles, high technology, electronics and commercial real estate will join with housing experts to lead conference discussions.

The housing industry must prepare to service a new generation of "renaissance consumers," Goodkin said, and by the end of this decade such amenities as laser-home libraries and dishwashers that double as dish cabinets will become commonplace. Many homes will have their own recyclable water/irrigation systems, and there will be wider use of modular and component housing for greater cost-savings and expansion flexibility, he predicted.

After a comparatively unchanged mode for generations, housing is about to explode into a new stage, he said.

An array of new high-technology products will be designed to meet the human needs of tomorrow's families, and these will become known as "human-tech," he said.

"Robotics will also play an increasingly important role in housing's future," Goodkin said. "As we head into the 1990s, the marketing of new homes will continue to change drastically--housing will find itself in a breakthrough era with high technology impacting the industry like never before."

Details about the conference are available from Lasse van Essen, National Assn. of Home Builders, 15th & M streets, Washington, D .C. 20005 or by telephone, 800/368-5242.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World