Prefab Plus by Michelle Linden

I really like Swedish design firm Claesson Koivisto Rune's body of work... Every product and piece of architecture they work on has a clear, yet delicate direction... nothing is too heavy handed.
The pre-fab house they designed for Arkitekthus is particularly nice. The simple 'Plus House' manages something that most pre-fab projects don't... it has roots. The proportion of the house is based on a traditional Swedish barn house, and the materials are consistent with both new and old building in the region. Its actually quite hard to imagine this house in any setting other than the one photographed... To me, this is particularly impressive for a pre-fab designs. In my opinion, many pre-fab modern projects are lovely aesthetically, but they seem like they could be plunked down in the middle of a field anywhere. And while I guess that's the point... I miss the locale specific design. This project on the other hand, really seems indigenous to the region, and I really love that about it.

Pre-Fab to the Extreme by Michelle Linden

Rocio Romero has got quite a few interesting pre-fab designs under her belt... Although, I think in practice that most of these designs could be even more streamlined... the plan above is a one bedroom in 625SF. Our house has 2 bedrooms in less than that. While I realize that not everyone want to live in the equivalent of a dorm room, I think that if you're willing to build/buy a house that is only 625, you'd probably be up for making the most of the space.
But whether you think that this particular house could handle some tightening of the spaces, I'm sure that we can agree that RR's latest design is probably a bit oversized! Somehow, 3000SF pre-fab homes just don't make sense to me. I mean, isn't part of the appeal of pre-fab the ecological advantages? And really, unless you've got a family of 12, there is no way that you can justify living in a 3000SF home with a pool as green. Not to mention the fact that so many of the house's aspects are clearly site built... you have to wonder what the benefit is to pre-fab in this case? I'd love to hear opinions...

Predicting the Future by Michelle Linden



During the 60s and 70s, designers all over the world were obsessed with the impending Space Age. Finnish architect Matti Suuronen did not escape the obsession, in fact he was one of the leading figures in the Utopian design movement. Incorporating elements of mobility, technological and material advances, as well as adjustments to family lifestyles, Suuronen created several designs that could easily be transported across borders of locale, economy, class, and time.

During this era, many designers attempted to project the future, imagining exciting improvements in society revolving around the advancements in space travel and living. While many of these predictions did not prove to be fruitful, a great deal of today's designs have a clear lineage tracing back to these space age movements.

Today too, we often find ourselves trying to predict the future... Whether we are projecting future traffic patterns, the effects of global warming, or the effect of our buildings on the local community, architects and designer are continuously looking towards the future. The big difference as I see it, is that we are no longer preparing for our future wide-eyed and excited about the possibilities, but rather we are often cautious, preparing for a future that could very possibly be more complicated and difficult than today. But, while the future could potentially be a scary place, it can still be thrilling for designers to predict and design for a happy, Utopian, futuristic society.

If you'd like a piece of this history, the Venturo shown above appears to be for sale.
See Happy Silly.

Could it be Pre-Fab? by Michelle Linden

I saw this great retro 1950s advertisement for pre-fab homes on Maraid Design. The graphic itself is a lot of fun, but the house is what caught my eye... because it looks very similar to our house! I'm fairly certain that our house was a builder's special in 1951 (the house next door is the mirror image), but after seeing this image I could almost imagine it as pre-fab! Its funny to think about how well designed pre-fab is considered the new big thing when people were providing great modern pre-fab design in the 50s!