Design for the One Percent by Alex Cocotas [Jacobin Mag] Contemporary architecture is more interested in mega projects for elites than improving ordinary people’s lives. [more inside]
The Mar Vista Tract in West Los Angeles, California was designed by Gregory Ain in 1947, in collaboration with Joseph Johnson and Alfred Day. Ain was a significant "second generation" modernist architect who had worked with and was influenced by the first generation of California Modern masters - European immigrants Richard Neutra and Rudolph Schindler. Ain believed in bringing good design to the masses; he belonged to the school of thought that espoused architecture's potential to shape a more egalitarian world. He is credited as being the first architect to design a house that did not contemplate servants. A lot of Ain’s ideals were achieved in the "Modernique Homes" development, the name under which the Mar Vista Tract was marketed in 1948. The intent of the Mar Vista Tract was to create a housing development that provided cost efficient housing while advancing the cause of Modern architectural design. [more inside]
In many parts of the world, the dream of owning a large house is being turned on its head #occupythesmallestpossiblespace
Buckminster Fuller's prototype Dymaxion House now resides in the Henry Ford Museum. A checkup under the floorboards revealed extensive cracking in the aluminum support beams underneath. The repair process granted a sneak peek into Fuller's remarkable design.
"Completed in 1954, the 33 11-story buildings of the Pruitt-Igoe housing development was built as an attempt to address the housing crisis the poor faced in St Louis, Missouri. Only twenty years later, at 3pm on the 16th of March, 1972, the buildings were leveled, declared unfit for habitation because of unsafe and unsanitary conditions, coupled with rampant crime. The story of Pruitt-Igoe is a tragic urban fable, a complicated and loaded story of ambition, hubris and failure." (src)"The Pruitt-Igoe Myth" is a documentary directed by Chad Freidrichs that dives into the complex history of the famed housing project (YouTube or Vimeo trailer). RustWire has an interesting interview with the documentary's creator. More information from Architizer, Homo Ludens, and Magical Urbanism. Be sure to check out the collection of pictures from the area and from the documentary in the creators' Flickr stream. [via Archinect and Mefi Projects] [more inside]
When he was 32, his life seemed hopeless. He was bankrupt and without a job. He was grief stricken over the death of his first child and he had a wife and a newborn to support. Drinking heavily, he contemplated suicide. Instead, he decided decided that his life was not his to throw away: it belonged to the universe. Buckminster Fuller embarked on "an experiment to discover what the little, penniless, unknown individual might be able to do effectively on behalf of all humanity." If the architect, author, designer, inventor, and futurist Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller were still alive, he would be 115 years old today. Though he died in 1983, his legacy grows on through recordings of his ideas and the Buckminster Fuller Institute. [more inside]
Chattel houses were very small houses, built by freed slaves or plantation workers, that could be dismantled quickly and moved in the event they were fired or unable to pay property tax to the plantation owner on whose land the house stood. Examples in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad l Sunday 25 March 2007 marked 200 years to the day that the British Parliament passed an Act to outlaw the slave trade in British colonies. [more inside]
The sub-prime mortgage crisis is giving way in some places to crime ridden McMansion ghettos, perhaps the beginning of a larger long term trend in demographics: "many low-density suburbs and McMansion subdivisions, including some that are lovely and affluent today, may become what inner cities became in the 1960s and ’70s—slums characterized by poverty, crime, and decay."
The "D" stands for Demolition. In an attempt at building awareness of Detroit's rotting, decaying neighborhoods(as if one needed further awareness), the Detroit Demolition Disneyland project finds long-abandoned, neglected structures that the city has failed to demolish and paints them with Tiggerific Orange paint.
Could this revolutionize architecture? A robot that can "print" a 2,000 sq-ft house in one day without the use of a single human hand. What sort of effects will this have on the future of houses?
Loftcube. I saw this in Playboy and had to look it up. [Flash and music].
A pole in the ground + an old Plane on top of it = home sweet home. A company in Tennesee is selling old airplanes as homes on ebay. I wonder if the new homeowners ever get tired of eating those little packets of peanuts every night.
The Modern Modular. Resolution: 4 Architecture is redefining prefab housing with its thoroughly modern-looking modular designs. Their premier design just won the Dwell Home competition sponsored by Dwell Magazine. Nice profile in today's WSJ.
Hot Little Igloos And Tutti-Frutti Toadstools or Living In Your Own I-Pod: Affordable housing gets seriously cute and makes Hobbits or Bubble boys and girls of all of us. The floor plans are versatile and the rentals (from $68 to $110 a week) are enticing. The "idea that governed the whole planning of Dome Park Lane and really became our goal was to provide clean, secure and -- most importantly -- affordable housing for low-income individuals." Are monolithic domes too good to be true or too weird to catch on? I sincerely hope not. [Via Linkfilter].
Small house, big ambitions. I've always lived in small houses and flats so this would be the perfect little place for me. As people are progressively continuing to stay single for longer into their lives, are homes like these what they'd be looking for to settle into?
Trash homes a.k.a. earthships sound like the way to go. Now if they would start building them here in Seattle...