The Failure of the Modern Movement
Le Corbusier in the early twentieth century, after the Second Industrial Revolution, called for the need to create a spirit of "mass production", thinking the house as a "machine for living in", based on technological advances in different fields of automotive, ship and aircraft production (1).
One of the main problems with this approach, lay in not understanding the subjective need for users to differentiate each other: There is no single way of living.
In the contemporary world, society is ubiquitously invaded by digital media. Architecture is no exception, the introduction of the computer has changed everything, from concept design to fabrication processes (2). The “Mass Production” that attracted the attention of the Modern Movement is currently replaced by "Mass Customization", applicable in manufacturing architecture by developing design interfaces that work with iterative processes and real-time simulation.
Cars vs. Houses
The design of contemporary living is more complex than the design of an automobile. People accept to live in the same units but do not want to live in identical houses. ONEHOUSE is much more personal, which responds to the desire of differentiation. In turn, it must respond to a particular physical context given by its implantation site, an issue that cars should not face.
Architecture without Architects?
Mass-produced housing poses the paradigm of purchase ONEHOUSE as a consumer product without the participation of an architect that contemplates the objective and subjective needs of each particular case. By contrast, the proposed concept lies in sustaining the architect as a leading character who commands the parameters of ONEHOUSE system, creating a specific project for each user.
Learning from Gehry
Gehry's contribution to the discipline lies not in its spectacular buildings, but the incorporation of digital techniques to produce efficiently in terms of cost and speed, hyper-complex architectural forms. The Beekman Tower in New York is a clear example, a real estate-residential project where the budget plays a major role. The same technology can be used to achieve efficiency in building unique architecture in relative terms to the needs and preferences of each user of ONEHOUSE.
Industrialization of Contemporary Housing
Thanks to technological advances in the industry, today it is possible to mediate between antagonistic positions previously considered: ONEHOUSE with the comfort and efficiency of Mass Production, with Custom Features according to contemporary preferences of its inhabitants.
1 - Le Corbusier, "Vers une architecture, Les Edition G." Crès et C, Paris (1923).
2 - Picon, Antoine. "Digital culture in architecture." Basel, Switzeland: Birkhauser (2010).