Illustration for article titled Meet the 97-Year-Old Retro-Futurist Visionary of iFuture by Design/i

As kids, we dreamed of a future with all kids of sci-fi perks: Supersonic travel! Magic technology! Such is the optimism inherent to invention. But as we grow older (and more cynical), the subject of futurism starts to seem naïve, almost kitschy.


That's why we need earnest visionaries like inventor and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk to remind us that the future isn't quite as unattainable as we might think. When Musk unveiled his proposed design for the Hyperloop last August, it was celebrated almost as much for the undeniable nostalgia it provoked as it was for its implications for future high-speed travel.


THIS WEEK'S DOC: Future By Design

Those inspired to look back at futurism's evolution are in luck. Director William Gazecki's film Future by Design is a heartfelt, low-budget tribute to pioneering futurist Jacque Fresco, the 97-year-old self-described "philosopher and theorist, engineer, industrial designer, and social planner."


Featuring hundreds of his sketches, drawings, models, and computer animations, Future By Design revels in the stark beauty and possibility of those glimmering utopian cities, even going so far as to predict Musk's Hyperloop a full six years before it was announced. The film is like a 90-minute conversation with a particularly interesting and cool grandpa — you'll want to hear his thoughts about society just as much as you'll want to live in one of his dome-shaped homes.

You now have four days to watch it. Come back on Friday and we'll talk about it in greater depth.


In the meantime, get more Netflix at

Documentary Club is a recurring feature in which we watch and discuss the finest documentaries available to stream on Netflix. Join in the futuristic fun!

Price Peterson is a comedy writer and TV recapper from Los Angeles, California. His work currently appears on Vulture,, and The Atlantic Wire.


This post is a sponsored collaboration between Netflix and Studio@Gawker.

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