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Digitally fabbed house for New Orleans rises at MOMA

Posted by: Emily McManus

ShopBot_MIT_House.jpgIf you were inspired by Neil Gershenfeld’s TEDTalk on the FabLab — where you can build just about anything you can dream of — read on:

Larry Sass, from MIT’s department of architecture, is leading a team that’s building a digitally fabricated house in a vacant lot next to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. yourHOUSE is composed of thousands of interlocking pieces, cut on a ShopBot — a computer-controlled milling machine about the size of a conference-room table.

yourHOUSE is a ground-up rethinking of how we make a house. Sass and a team of students analyzed the traditional New Orleans shotgun house, using digital imaging tools and old-fashioned research, such as interviewing people who live in these wonderful little homes. They modeled a way to build a house out of parts that could be created on-site and assembled in days without nails or screws. For the MOMA project, the parts were cut from recycled plywood on two ShopBots in Virginia and trucked to New York, where Sass and his team have been slotting them together to make a classic NOLA cottage, complete with front porch and lacy wooden trim.

You can follow the research and construction on MOMA’s blog. Sass’s team reports every Thursday on the MOMA site with build details and photos. ShopBot has been posting videos from the project too:

The MOMA exhibit, “Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling,” opens July 20 and runs through October 20, 2008. Four other amazing small or manufactured homes are also part of the exhibit, including the beautiful Cellophane House from KeiranTimberlake and the adorably precise micro-compact home.

Photo above from ShopBot

Comments (1)

  • sue levy commented on Oct 14 2009

    I have lived most of my life in suburbia. Homes cut out like cookies and artificially clustered in some vain attempt to foster a sense of community. May be what we really need is an anti-building campaign. Get home owners to ban together and assess their neighborhood. Do some planning for the future. Need a park, play area or commit space for Slow food? Plan areas in the development where homes could be slowly acquired and demolished. Having a common goal and opening up space could breathe life and vitality into a community. Growing their own food could be an education for all ages, a source of pride and pleasure, even a necessity in these economic times.