The Museum of Modern Art is currently holding an exhibition called Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling. As part of the exhibition MOMA has invited five architects to each build a house on a vacant New York lot. One of the houses to be constructed was originally designed in 2004 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology associate professor Larry Sass. The project was called Instant House and attempted to “harness the speed and precision of laser cutters to fabricate simple shelters quickly and inexpensively.”
The design features grooves and notches so that the laser cut plywood panels can interlock without any traditional fasteners. The first prototype was assembled by five students who were equipped with only rubber mallets. Amazingly they were able to fully assemble the entire house in just two days. It’s estimated that in large scale production the houses would only cost about $40 000.
It’s inspirational to see a design using the same materials and technology we have here potentially doing so much good. “An iteration of the Instant House called Digitally Fabricated Housing for New Orleans: a 196-square-foot one-room shotgun house intended as one proposal for the rapid reconstruction of New Orleans, a major topic of debate since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast in 2005.”