Lily Benson

A Tour of the Self Cleaning House

HD Video. 11 minutes.

Music: Doron Sadja
Voiceover: Kellie Fitzgerald


The Self Cleaning House is a patented invention by Francis Gabe of Newberg, Oregon, USA. The house has been widely celebrated and recognized as an accomplishment for women’s role in science and as a clever method to liberate women from housework. It was even partially reconstructed in the Women’s Museum in Dallas, Texas.

When I visited the prototype that Francis Gabe was still occupying in 2007, I discovered that the actual realization of the invention idea was a minor disaster. It was cluttered and hazardous, which made it difficult to believe that the home had ever been a working invention.

In this video, 3D rendered environments were constructed to create the fantasy version of the Self Cleaning House as a fully functional home, based on the ideas laid out in its patent. There is an odd disparity between the importance of The Self Cleaning House as a concept, versus its condition in reality.