All in 30X30

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.

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.

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.

Architecture as Product

After spending several months focusing on my newfound leatherworking hobby, I’m starting to find that my passion for designing architecture is growing. One of the big ideas that I had this week that is leading towards my next 30x30 projects is viewing architecture as products. This idea can go in many directions, so I’ll be dedicating the next few weeks to narrow the idea down. Here’s where I’m going with the architecture as product project.

Focus on Details

When we hear architects and designers talk about details, we imagine all of the smaller components that were meticulously thought through in order to solve a problem and allow a building to function as designed, maintain a specific aesthetic, or differentiate itself from other buildings. Just like architecture, details for products are similar in the way that a designer will zoom into specific components of the product and figure out how it should be made in relation to the adjacent ones and holistically. Here’s what I learned this week by focusing on the details of my latest leather product, a weekend duffle bag.

2018 Update On My 30x30 Projects

About two and a half years ago, I started on my 5 year journey to design 30 projects by the time I turned 30. Over that amount of time, I’m excited that in retrospect, I can see the lineage of all of my completed projects as well as the growth of my life as a designer. From being an architect who focused solely on designing the built environment to now pivoting and exploring the world of product design, I can’t wait to see what else I’ll learn about myself and the world of design. Now that I’m half way through my timeline, I’d like to reflect on the projects that I’ve done so far and take you down memory lane.

Why Prototyping is Important

No matter how hard we try to design something perfectly, there are always so many factors that will affect the final outcome of our projects. Therefore, it’s important that we take a moment to sketch, talk, and make prototypes of our designs to ensure that it meets its functional and aesthetic requirements. Through this process, we often realize that we forgot an important element and made minor errors that need to be corrected. Here’s what I learned from prototyping my first leather iPad sleeve.