Designer: Larry Sass
In 2004 Massachusetts Institute of Technology associate professor Larry Sass began research on an architectural project, Instant House, in an attempt to harness the speed and precision of laser cutters to fabricate simple shelters quickly and inexpensively. Joinery took the form of notches and grooves rather than traditional screws or nails. Five students, equipped only with rubber mallets, installed the first full-scale version in only two days. The scheme was startlingly simple and simultaneously radical in its desire to distill technology’s power solely to problem-solve rather than invent a new formal language.
Sass and his students have deployed, specifically for this exhibition, a prototypical 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.
Construction method: kit of parts