Keywords:petroleum, synthetic materials, industry, architecture, plastics
Over the last century the petroleum industry’s rapid growth has been accompanied by a steady flow of aggressively promoted petroleum-based products. The petroleumscape’s spatial expansion and visual representation achieved widespread citizen buy-in. Following World War II the use of plastic materials in the building industry significantly increased through efforts from architects and industry leaders. The House of the Future, built by MIT architects, the Monsanto Chemical Company, and Disneyland exemplified a modern lifestyle: clean, functional, and fun. The architectural and technocratic dream of a mass-produced, fully plastic house that seemed possible in the post-war years did not survive the subsequent commercialisation of the plastics industry in the 1960s and 70s.