Home Delivery: Digitally Fabricated Housing

sass new orleans digital house photo

It is getting awfully close to the July 20 opening of Home Delivery at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where five architects are building and displaying seriously cutting-edge prefabs. We will be looking at each of them this week.

Lawrence Sass of MIT has been working with the idea of the digitally fabricated house for a few years; we first met him at Prefab Now two years ago, but it has evolved significantly since then. Imagine a flatpack house that you assemble like a kid's toy.

sass digital house assembly photo

Sass's team has taken elements of a traditional New Orleans house and transformed it into 3,000 pieces that lock together like a puzzle. Compared to traditional MCA (measure, cut and assemble) construction, SGA (Self-guided assembly) "employs tabs, slots, and grooves to guide the assembly of parts. There is no measuring or cutting on the jobsite—it is assembly only, or self-guided assembly (SGA). From a cost standpoint, we have removed two costly functions from the jobsite (measuring and cutting). From a builder's standpoint, the system is playful in assembly, not unlike building with LEGOs. The negative side of our work is that if we miss cutting a hole or slot in the design, it is difficult to adjust in the field."

sass design digital house photo

More on their blog at ::Layer by Layer
Digital Houses in TreeHugger
Five Modern Prefabs Coming to the MOMA
1:1 Making the Digital House