All in Architecture

My Thoughts on Co-Living and Architecture

Moving onto the last project of my 30x30 challenge, I’ve decided to focus on designing a residential complex based on the current trend of co-living in hyper dense cities such as San Francisco, London, New York City, and so on. During my life so far, I’ve been fortunate to have experienced several forms of co-living, which we will get to later in this post, but I’ve never stayed at any of the latest facilities such as WeLive, Commons, and others. To start project 30x30, here are my thoughts on co-living and architecture.

The Last Project

As I brainstorm the last project for the 30x30 series that I set out on with Journey of an Architect 3 years ago, there’s a bittersweet feeling that crosses my mind and quite honestly, my soul. When I embarked on this journey, I never thought I would find so many other passions in my life; writing, product design/craft, podcasting, and reading. So what will the last project for the 30x30 series be? Let’s start with what I’ve accomplished and my vision for where I want to be.

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.

Facing Early Career Decisions

Every year, I take a week in the summer time to relax with my friends by renting a house, home cooking meals, and spending time together. This year, our theme was “Lake House”, and last week we finally went on this much anticipated vacation. During my time there, I thought about where I started, how far I’ve come, and where I’d like to go with my career as an architect and creative professional. In short, I felt like I was reaching an “early life crisis”. Let me explain.