The New York Times had an interesting story this week on the promise of modern pre-fab.
Reviewing MOMA’s “Home Delivery” exhibition, Allison Arief laments that the show lauds designs that are never actually built, ignoring those designers who bring pre-fab fantasies to life (see some local examples here, here, here and here.)
A pre-fab apartment might not look as appealing behind glass as Archigram’s living pods or Instant City airships, but people actually rest their heads there at night.
Archigram's Instant City Airships, c. 1969
Speaking of the way we live, the Oregonian reported Tuesday on Portlanders tearing up their lawns for gardens. The article cites a chain-reaction that occurs where one lawn goes garden and neighbors break out spades to follow suit.
The article asks the question: Do we keep our lawns just to keep up appearances? In Seattle, a lot of us let grass go brown in summer. But when one lawn goes gleaming green, neighbors quickly follow suit with sprinkler and fertilizer.
(The article also said lawn mower fumes make up one-third of greenhouse gas emissions in certain urban areas, though the source was not clear. Yikes!)
With people growing gardens street-side, going green on top isn’t much of a stretch. The Portland Tribune reports on the Rose City’s coming green roof grants.
How do we live in the Northwest? How should we live?
If you find yourself spending too much time ruminating on these questions, consider attending the coming Design for Livability Conference, Thursday’s Envisioning the Future of Architecture, or touring Friday’s local Park(ing) Day sites. In addition to the parking spots listed there, AIA Seattle and Site Workshop are transforming a spot in front of AIA Seattle at 1911 First Ave., and Owen Richards Architects and HyBrid Architects are rethinking a spot in front of their shared office at 12th and East Pike in First Hill.
Still thirsty? Check out my colleague, Katie Zemtseff’s blog for more upcoming events.