Attempting to Live a Sustainable Lifestyle in St. Louis

Environmentally friendly decisions are tough

Checking out MOMA’s pre-fab exhibit September 1, 2008

Filed under: Design — budint @ 2:07 pm
Tags: , ,

I was in NYC for work last week, so what else would I do in my free time than go to the MOMA to check out their pre-fabricated home exhibit. I remember when the exhibit first started earlier this summer and I thought it was such a great concept, but one I would only be reading about.   So after visiting the exhibit, I can now say that MOMA has done a great job on their website in reproducing much of the experience and information for those who can’t make the trip.

In fact, for some of the outdoor exhibit, I am happy to have read the site since the information was a bit hard to understand over their “call this number from your cellphone” informational system.  And there are better inside photos of the micro-compact home that were hard to get a sense of with so many people trying to see the exhibit.  Touching and getting the sense of size are difficult online, but avoiding the lines and being rushed are also nice. (note pic of line below).

Other than the micro-compact, I was not very impressed by the other designs. They seemed impractical or poorly built.  The cellophane house for example was the most striking from the exterior, but the layout was awkward and use of space poor.   Did I mention how cool it looked from the exterior? Okay and they had a nice integration of PV into the windows/exterior walls.   But practicality wise, I felt it would be difficult to carry drinks/food up 3 floors to the roof-top deck, among other issues.

The outside exhibit was only half of the fun. On the inside (6th or 7th floor) they had a very comprehensive collection of drawings, videos, models and photographs which played out the history of pre-fab homes.  The information was alot to take in, so I had to carefully navigate to insure nothing was missed.  The exhibit was also one where photography was not allowed, thus no pics.    I was pretty amazed my the progress that had been made in pre-fab earlier in the 20th century, both in the U.S. and abroad.    This part of the exhibit is not as well represented online though.

All in all, I was happy to have gone. My expectations were probably a bit unrealistic as I thought I might see something radically amazing, but since a group of fellow bloggers follow this topic closely, it was an unlikley possibility.

As for the other parts of the museum, I really liked the Design & Architecture exhibits.  They were like a step back in time and I really enjoyed it.

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3 Responses to “Checking out MOMA’s pre-fab exhibit”

  1. Kirk Smiley Says:

    Great Blog!

    I work for DonorsChoose.org, an award-winning nonprofit that connects public school teachers in need of resources with donors via the internet. At DonorsChoose.org, called the “future of philanthropy” by the New York Times, public school teachers describe needs for their classrooms and donors can search projects by area of interest and choose to fund the project(s) he/she finds compelling.

    In the fall, DonorsChoose.org holds an annual “Blogger Challenge” – bloggers choose specific projects from our website and challenge their readers to make donations.

    Last year we raised $420,000 for needy classrooms via 50 bloggers including Engadget, TechCrunch, LifeHacker and Stephen Colbert.

    The classroom projects run the gamut from basic needs like books to salmon hatcheries.
    On October 1, we’ll kick off this year’s Blogger Challenge. Engadget and TechCrunch, among many others, are participating. We would be honored to add your blog to the list. I know you have many readers, and your participation could help hundreds or thousands of needy public school students.
    If you are interested in participating, I would be happy to share more details with you by email or phone. Your support would be GREATLY appreciated!

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    kirk at donorschoose dot org

  2. Dougist Says:

    I wrote a piece about the MoMA show that you might like…

    http://dougist.com/index.php?p=28

    Essential I ask, “Why don’t pre-fabs seem to work” and realize that they are more experiment than solution.

    Doug
    http://www.dougist.com

  3. Steve Horn Says:

    I am a custom builder in St. Louis with experience in green construction. I have been exploring the process of green construction from the economic side. I think that the ideas that make economic sense will stand the test of time. Blown Cellulose, Low VOC paints, dual flush toilets and high efficiencey HVAC systems are just a few. I have been blogging about some of these and am adding to the list every couple of weeks. I noticed that the ceilings are insulated with fiberglass batts. If you have attic space above them, you can use blown cellulose once the drywall on the ceilings is in place. It goes in just as easy as blown fiberglass. In areas without attic space above and walls against concrete, you need to use fiberglass as you have done. It is a great product especially when it is used in conjunction with weather tight kit. It reduces air infiltration by 70% over conventional insulation. Visit my website for more information.


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