April, 2008

Prefabrication =globalization….not good

Everywhere I look, every single design website/magazine , all of them are pushing prefabricated homes…..why? Why do we continue to outsource everything…even our own homes. Why do we insist on factory made even when we know what it all means…china.china.china…increased transportation of objects, the devaluation and demise of local craftsman,local material use, and and the associated lack of appropriateness to site, region, local weather and spirit.
What is wrong with local, homemade, in our back yard? Is it that local equals boring? It doesn’t have to be.
In this time prefabrication of whole homes not just the windows is the wrong direction for our planet. We need to put the reins on. The more we give up on our local resource base, talent, and know-how the more we admit that we are lost, that we can’t even create the world we want to live in with our own hands, with help from our friends family and community. Its these close ties that need to be nurtured; not devalued.
When we chose to order from catalogues we are admitting that our local resources are inadequate or are exhausted. The more often we give up on providing for ourselves the more needy we become.

SoPo and codes galore

A rendering of proposed dwelling in S.Portland, Maine

Working in South Portland Maine on a project for a client I am again confronted with the codification of the residential sector. The modernist zoning sublime, a system like a dinosaur of sorts already passe’. 250 unweldy pages of codes stacked like cord wood all telling the land owner what to he can do with his chunk of land.