Ted Smith

Ted Smith (San Diego) is the founder of the architectural firm Smith and Others in San Diego. He is also an innovative developer-builder committed to producing alternative densities, inclusive of diverse economies and types of dwelling. His Go-Homes, developed in the 1980s-1990s, are re-imagined versions of the one family house that tested the boundaries of the San Diego housing regulations in order to respond to real housing need.

Mr. Smith’s Go Homes provide affordability by having unrelated adults sharing houses. Although residents share a kitchen, the suites provide separate entrances and have private baths, lofty space, and private terraces. The homes are fully integrated in existing neighborhoods of one family homes. The presentation reviewed the history from the original house built with cash, and then bank financed versions that are flexible enough to work for multiple programs. The presentation also reviewed other projects derived from the initial idea and will discuss additional advantages of a liberal definition of family.

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Vicente Guallart & Ted Smith Inteviewed by Paul Goldberger

Paul Goldberger, the Architectural Critic for The New Yorker, has written its celebrated “Sky Line” column since 1997. He also holds the Joseph Urban Chair in Design and Architecture at The New School in New York City. He was formerly Dean of Parsons The New School for Design. He began his career at The New York Times,where in 1984 his architecture criticism was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism, the highest award in journalism.

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Avi Friedman

Avi Friedman (Montreal) is a Professor at McGill School of Architecture and the founder and director of its Affordable Homes Program.  He is known for his housing innovation and in particular for the Grow Home, a rowhouse designed to allow the interior to be altered to fit the space needs and budget of the owner.  He is the author of seven books on housing, a practicing architect and the recipient of numerous awards.  In 2000 he was selected by Wallpaper magazine as 1 of 10 people around the world “most likely to change the way we live.”

Dr. Friedman’s lecture looked at how socio-demographic and economic changes turn housing affordability into a challenge for many first-time homebuyers.  Out-of-the-box thinking needs to be pursued in order to lower housing costs significantly.  Buying a la carte, designing for growth, leaving space un-partitioned for the occupant to complete at a later stage, and implementing innovative cost-reduction technologies are some of the ideas that will be presented by Dr. Friedman.  Principles and applications were outlined and their application in real-world projects illustrated.

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Iris Reuther

Iris Reuther (Leipzig) is an architect and the founder and principal of the Office for Urban Projects in Leipzig. Her firm was one of the first woman-owned technical planning firms to emerge from the former GDR. Her work focuses on developing mixed-use environments in areas of low demand and economic adversity. She is also Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Kassel and has written publications on the transformation processes of cities and regions. Dr Reuther has conducted planning and design workshops in Bushwick, East New York, and Williamsburg to help transform former brownfield sites.

Ms. Reuther’s presentation looked at a wide variety of 21st century trends that are impacting on the concept of a housing unit. Her lecture will focus on the European perspective of these shifts. The media revolution, globalisation, climate change, and far-reaching changes in demographic development are raising new questions. The balance between the private and the public has shifted. The world of work is flowing into the sphere of the home. The presentation reported on examples in Leipzig, Berlin, and Hamburg and the international building fairs that have been taking place in Germany since the beginning of the 20th century. These fairs have set milestones in housing construction and addressed the contemporary questions regarding urban housing.

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Avi Friedman and Iris Reuther Interviewed by James Colgate and Mark Strauss

James Colgate is Assistant Commissioner for Technical Affairs and Code Development at the New York City Department of Buildings, where he works on legislative and technical issues. He has extensive knowledge of the laws and regulations governing housing design and construction in New York City.

Mark Strauss, FAIA is Senior Partner in Charge of Planning and Urban Design at FXFOWLE Architects, where he leads the firm’s Planning / Urban Design work. A key aspect of his interest and talent lies in developing planning approaches to assist communities, institutions, and developers redefine properties in response to design, economic, transportation, and political concerns. He has developed a national reputation for the sensitive and viable repositioning of sites and communities.

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