Monday, October 27, 2008

Architecture Unplugged: Dwelling Optemized for Freedom

A project on the idea of reducing comfort and necessity to an optimized state:

Friday, August 29, 2008


1. new orleans used to be a great city for artists because you could live in a decent house for $300 a month and other costs were low, leaving spare time to work on art, music, etc.

2. housing prices have risen with the massive drop in supply, so now it's much harder to work out that kind of arrangement, sending NOLA''s artists to austin, san francisco, etc.

3. new orleans is slowly becoming a las vegas-esque playground for adults, with the city council and private businesses catering to large conventions and ignoring the cultural capital aside from the built environment (e.g. the french quarter).

4. an answer to the problem is to create a live/work housing development exclusively for creatives (artists, writers, designers, musicians, film makers) where rent would be capped at around $350.

5. the low rent could be subsidized by a music venue / restaurant / coffee shop / bar that would see a fast increase in income because of the "cool factor" of the inhabitants of the development. this would also all but guarantee the gentrification factor, making property values rise in the surround area.

6. at set intervals (probably coinciding with the art walk) artist opening workspaces and / or showing their work would be mandatory, adding extra incentive to produce work and increasing clientele and cool factor.

7. the design of the development would be an aesthetically avant garde, culturally relevant, environmentally and economically sustainable piece of architecture that the city could be proud of. environmental sustainability also capitalizes on the numerous government tax and grant incentives available to such projects.

7b. we're thinking about using freight containers (though practically disguised through the use of other building elements, foliage, possibly sod roofs, etc.) in a configuration that minimizes material use and maximizes communal spaces.