Three Tiers of Prefabrication

In the 21st century, architects often talk about prefabricated buildings as large assemblies of the final construction that are delivered to the project site, craned into position, and finished on site. However, there are different tiers of prefabrication that start from individual parts that come together into a component and eventually combined into an assembly that becomes the final product. Having a deeper understanding of the term “prefabrication” will allow us to utilize more efficient methods of building and shift the preconceived notion behind the terminology. Let me explain.

Young Architects and Our Journey Through Debt

As young architects, a majority of us graduate from architecture school and enter the workforce with substantial amounts of debt. A majority of us are faced with earning at or less than the average salary as starting architects. In hopes of changing the perception of the younger generation as being entitled and selfish, here's how debt cripples a majority of new architecture graduates entering the workforce in the 21st century.

Refocusing the Blog

In early 2016, I started Journey of an Architect and jumped right into designing 30 theoretical projects to refine my design process, find my style of architecture, and eventually start a practice of my own. A little more than two years after starting this blog, I’ve completed 27 projects and diverged into product design and writing. Slowly, but surely, this blog is turning into more than I ever envisioned it would be and it’s time for me to redesign and refocus Journey of an Architect.

Sustainable Modular Home Precedent

An architect that I’ve recently discovered and have been fascinated by is Michelle Kaufmann who wrote a book called prefab green. This book focuses on Kaufmann’s vision to design sustainable modular houses that the middle class can afford. As part of my research for my 28th project of my 30x30 series that focuses on kit houses, Kaufmann’s work is influential in the way that she deconstructed the kit house model and redesigned it based on the standards of the 21st century. Here’s what I’ve learned about the possibilities of a 21st century prefabricated house.

Eames House as a Modern Kit House

Recently, I borrowed a book called Eames House: Charles and Ray Eames (Architecture in Detail) by James Steele, which gave an overview of the case study house project and the development of case study house 8 (AKA Eames House). My fascination with the Eames House is the simplicity of its design, use of off the shelf products, and the estimated cost per square foot based on a quick Google search. After reading this book, I have some doubts about the cost estimate and some encouraging ideas for the kit house of the next century. Here’s a quick overview of what I’ve learned about the Eames House.

Buying My Latest Computer for Architecture

After a great 8 years of using a desktop computer that I pieced together, the time finally came when the computer just couldn’t handle the architecture and design projects anymore. It was tired. Worn out. Checked out. So, as fate would have it, I had to go out and search for my next computer to conquer the world of architecture and product design. Then came the age old question. What computer should I get to run my architecture programs and Netflix simultaneously, side by side?

From the First Kit House to the First Starchitect Kit House

Why were the initial kit houses developed in the world? Where were these kit houses delivered and built? One of the best books that I began to read this week called Prefab Houses by Arnt Cobbers and Oliver Jahn gives a great primer on the evolution of kit houses over time. Starting with the first one that we have documentation for, this research is beginning to reveal more ideas and purposes of the kit house idea. Here’s why the initial kit houses were developed in the world and some interesting facts about one of the first star architect developed kit houses.

The Evolution of Kit Houses

Why did the kit houses from the early 1900’s begin to fail in the 1970’s? What happened to the idea of the kit house after the main companies filed for bankruptcy or let go of the idea? These were questions that I developed while researching the timeline of kit house companies. A majority of these companies filed for bankruptcy in the mid to late 1900’s and others switched their business focus. Here’s how the kit houses evolved from that moment onward.

1900s Kit Homes as Architecture Products

What could architecture products look like for a majority of the population? Why do architects consider duplicating the same house designs at different sites to be bad? These are some of the questions that I’ve been debating as I’ve read through catalogs for kit houses from the early 1900’s to the mid 1900’s. During my initial research of my latest topic “Architecture as Product”, I’ve discovered a lot of very interesting marketing schemes and business models for kit houses of the 20th century. Here’s what I’ve learned.