Okay... FINALLY ! This design seems to be closing in on the essence of Frank Lloyd Wright's 'Usonian Houses' concept… which were created during the last 'Great Depression' and intended to be largely 'Self-fab' dwellings that were extremely cost effective. Cost, cost, cost !!!! All the previous 'Pre-Fab' designs I've seen have been too expensive. This dwelling is called 'Mod-Fab'… which is a clever way of demarcating that it is NOT 'Pre-fab', as it’s largely built on site... and THAT saves a TON of Chavo ($$$). And since a large part of this dwelling was built onsite by the minimally skilled labor of Taliesen West students, apparently the 'Self-Fab' 'Usonian' concept has been updated to our modern times with this project ? I've been an admirer of Victor Sidy's work since he built his own student dwelling at Taliesen West which was featured in a photo-essay in 'Sunset Magazine'. Go Victor ! Go Students ! This dwelling is truly the cost breakthrough in the realm of 'Self-fab'/'Mod-fab' that we have been waiting for. Kudo's to Jennifer Siegel and all the other participants as well. Congrats all the way around. INEXPENSIVE... is the byword in Depressionary times. And this design concept appears to satisfy that criteria.
Blair Kamin has been the Chicago Tribune’s architecture critic since 1992. A graduate of Amherst College and the Yale University School of Architecture, he has also been a fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. The University of Chicago Press has published two collections of Kamin's columns: "Why Architecture Matters: Lessons from Chicago" and "Terror and Wonder: Architecture in a Tumultuous Age.” Kamin is the recipient of 35 awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, which he received in 1999 for a body of work highlighted by a series of articles about the problems and promise of Chicago's greatest public space, its lakefront.