Free houses at MoMA! (Fab Tree Hab future also previewed).

Smack in the middle of the mortgage madness going on in the United States (not the madness of a bubble market, but the insanity that comes after one), the Museum of Modern Art has built a few homes in a vacant lot outside its white walls (NYT review). Amazing, isn’t it? What’s going to happen with these after the MoMA’s new show, Home Delivery, that runs until October 20? I am not sure. The show is undergirded by an optimism in building technologies to ameliorate the sicknesses of the shortage of homes. Architecture won’t do much for the problems of the banking liberalism that has caused this massive housing meltdown, but it sure does exemplify that when used for positive causes, housing can be built for cheap and quick, something many people are in dire need of (that is, if the single family detached dwelling is the only solution to that need; that’s another question). But not to digress any further, I was lucky to visit the show to see the project I worked on with Mitchell Joachim, now of Terreform 1, and engineer Lara Greden. Back in 2003, we formed Team HED to propose a new model for Habitat for Humanity: the Fab Tree Hab. (More info here). The project we did together appears, thanks in part to the filmmaker Joey Forsythe of Velocity Filmworks, in the main gallery as part of a loop of flicks about the future of mass fabricated homes. Mitch and collaborators with Terreform 1 (Melanie Fessel, Graham Murdoch, and Edward Ward) added new models and animation footage for this exhibition. The project was initially conceived at MIT’s School of Architecture. Overall, the show was curated by Barry Bergdoll. (By the way, I really don’t know what’s going to happen with the homes after the show…)

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