Flexible Architecture



 Flexible Architecture

Rachel Riddle –Week 4 Blog Post

Flexible architecture has been in use for centuries resulting in being an inspiration to many designers all around the world. With its characteristics of being practical, the possibilities of portable, prefabricated, adaptable, or mobile structures are endless. The fact that the world continues to constantly change around us makes it even more perplexing that the majority of society still expects static and heavy architecture. Why isn’t flexible architecture the norm in today’s world?

Rapidly building technology and new, innovative building materials bring progressive changes into the architectural environment. Today architects are able to construct what was previously unthinkable, this results in incredibly unique structures that challenge the way of thinking of how we live. This points to the idea of future structures having a greater capacity to adapt and develop as society’s needs change. It would be extremely beneficial if a house was able to adapt as its resident’s lifestyles changed. A new family demands different functions from a house than an elderly couple does for example, so if the dynamics or the arrangement of the house was able to be maneuvered people would be able to use their houses more efficiently.

Flexible architecture also presents opportunities for different environments and classes within society. If portable architecture is looked as a technological phenomenon, one can assume that only those who can afford it can utilize it; however, there is flexibility and adaptability that is achieved through the use of resources and materials in the surrounding environment like the favelas in South America. These cities are made very quickly and they are always changing. Robert Kronenburg, an architect and senior lecturer in the School of Architecture and Building Engineering at the University of Liverpool, UK, says that flexible architecture is “a good example of technology helping society to cope with change in an efficient manner, a good thing to help society move forward.”

Resources –

Moldakhmetova, Anel. “FLEXIBLE ARCHITECTURE: FROM MOBILITY TO ADAPTABILITY.” Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, 2015. Web. 1 Oct. 2016. http://futureurbanism.com/interview/from-mobility-to-adaptability/

Rosenfield, Karissa. “Los Angeles Architect Jennifer Siegal Wins 2016 ArcVision Prize.” Arch Daily. N.p., 8 Apr. 2016. Web. 1 Oct. 2016. http://www.archdaily.com/785225/los-angeles-architect-jennifer-siegal-wins-2016-arcvision-prize



One comment

  1. Dennis Garvey

    Week 6, Dennis Garvey
    Portable architecture, like many terms architects use to describe something more simplistic than it actually is, has already seen a a place in our world in the form of trailer homes and trailer parks. The author gives us a great pitch that there might be benefits in designing a building dynamic enough for its relocation. I wish to propose a few questions about the societal demand for “portable architecture.” The trailer home is a great precedent to study. It was an easy phenomenon for nomadic peoples to easily move from one place to another. It also had its niche for middleclass travels, not ready to commit to a permanent structure. Presently, many American live in trailer homes, yet the general consensus is not many Americans aspire to live in them if at all possible. All types of people prefer all different types of housing, for those who don’t chose to live in trailer homes is there some way we can cluster houses or apartment modules together to create movable architecture in a broader context? And if so, other than by giving the trailer home a facelift with some of the new materials that appear on this blog, can we convince those who plan to live in generally the same place to seek architecture with a portable abilities? This might be the largest setback to moving forward with portable architecture in present day America.

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