Published in hardback by UK art architecture and design publisher Lund Humphries in January 2018, ‘Prefab Housing and the Future of Building: Product to Process’ runs to over 175 pages and features 40 colour and 70 black and white illustrations. It includes case studies encompassing examples of prefab building from Japan, Sweden, UK, Germany, Austria and the USA.
The publisher’s description of the book comments: “As we stand on the cusp of a fundamental restructuring of the housing and building industries, this book provides timely insights into the promise of prefabricated housing. The idea of a more industrialised approach to house building is not a new one: since the 19th century, designers, inventors, engineers, builders, developers, and entrepreneurs have all been fascinated by the idea of the factory-built, modular home. But international housing affordability crises, emerging technologies, and concerns for more sustainable building practices have given a new urgency to the need to transform building construction in the 21st century.”
The book’s introduction also indicates a tipping point in thinking about prefab and offsite solutions; methodologies, it hints, whose time has undoubtedly come.
“Historically prefab never quite lived up to its promise. This book is underpinned by the observation that the conditions for a more industrialised approach to housing have never been better. Changing consumer expectations, rising design literacy and increasing demand for interaction with services and products have resulted in strong potential markets.”
Referencing historical examples and contemporary design analyses, the book takes the reader through the foundations of prefab and a discussion of contemporary problems and opportunities, as a statement from the publisher confirms. “It includes a broad international survey of leading companies and their products, and draws on research from an international team of experts in the field.”
“This book suggests a future scenario for industrialised house building that will both challenge the existing industry and stimulate the public imagination.”■