In 2016, I authored an article, The Myth of the Prefab House, debunking the media hype of pre-fabricated houses. Today, I stand corrected and updated. With advancements in technology, manufacturing, and in particular, modular construction, my story continues. Poon Design’s latest endeavor—a modular, factory-built, 400-square-foot home designed for developer ReMo Homes—was recognized this past June at the Innovative Housing Showcase exhibition in Washington, D.C, in association with the National Association of Home Builders and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
I usually write about buildings, sometimes design, music, or life. But why not parks, as in the famed national parks of America? In a sense, parks are architectural, comprising journeys through space and time. Whether a house, school, temple, or even a park, visitors respond to their surroundings—a composition of light, proportions, materials, patterns, and textures. Here are thoughts on some national park visits, where the architect is not man or woman, but rather Mother Nature.
It makes me uneasy when architects replace physical models with computer renderings, replacing a centuries-old craft with software-driven images that pander more to marketing and promotion than exploration and abstract thinking.
Having wrapped up client meetings in New York City, I had some time to myself. With nothing on the agenda, no one to meet, not much in particular to do, I put on walking shoes to wander this island of Manhattan. In a day and a half, I visited 20 architectural works, walking 44,631 steps. Doing the math, that is nearly 20 miles.
Do we need architects to create architecture? With artificial intelligence (“AI”) the answer is yes and no.
There is a fascination with how an architect, in a single first sketch, can capture the entire concept of a proposed project. Is such a sketch evidence of inspired genius blasted onto paper within seconds vs. a mere doodle of no concern vs. smoke-n-mirrors and good salesmanship?