2008 Northeast Fall Conference

September 25-27, 2008 | University of Massachusetts Amherst
Co-chairs:  Peggi Clouston, Ray Kinoshita Mann, Stephen Schreiber


The 2008 ACSA Northeast Fall Conference will focus on the art and science of contemporary prefabricated architecture. Light on the environment, prefab construction is enjoying a renewed interest. Sections of a home (by some estimates, 30% of all new homes) are built in a factory to minimize construction waste, energy use and design costs. And recently, many new prefab homes are designing in other green building options. This conference will provide a unique opportunity for the assessment of the past and a focus on the future of manufactured building systems. The conference chairs invite papers and projects from a broad range of perspectives.

Possible topics include:
• Design of contemporary prefabricated buildings and communities
• Trends in kit homes, panelized houses, and volumetric modules.
• Green prefab
• Prefabricated building elements such as structural insulated panels, precast or modular systems, modular building material composites
• Impact on social justice (affordable housing, senior housing, emergency housing)
• Open architecture
• Codes, regulations, laws
• Design of prototypical buildings
• Integrating principals of prefabrication into architecture and construction curricula
• History/theory of mass produced housing
• Redesign, reuse of mobile homes and mobile home parks

The conference chairs are particularly interested in papers that focus on innovative prefabricated wood systems and structures, as the ACSA conference will run concurrently with the UMass Wood Structures Symposium.ater's physical properties, symbolic meaning, and phenomenal characteristics shape the physical environment and the cultures that inhabit them. These processes— made manifest in ecological systems, social and spiritual rituals, and economic and political policies— serve as activating agents that initiate change at the level of landscape, architecture, or intimate details. In this manner, water's dual nature as a regenerative element or a potentially destructive force informs the engineering of infrastructure, the manipulation of topography, the folding of surfaces, the shaping of roofs, or the curvature of a simple drinking glass.

The conference aims to examine water from both a pragmatic and a poetic perspective, with a particular focus on its material and conceptual potential to move across scales of inhabitation. As an activating agent, how might the properties of water influence new material assemblies or approaches to building? What role might water take in the shaping of infrastructure and urbanization? With shifts in its degree of availability, likelihood of its contamination, and potential for depletion, how will water be addressed as a vital cultural and natural resource within social, economic, and political circles? How can water be employed in the making of space, such that its transformative and metaphorical nature evokes restorative, violent, pure, or even limpid characteristics or qualities?

Toward these ends, the 2007 Southwest Regional Conference invites papers and design projects that address water’s praxis at all scales and across design disciplines. We likewise seek a range of submissions that address water’s past and future trajectory. From an historical perspective, to practice, to speculation, this conference hopes to assemble a coherent, but multi-faceted dialogue and discourse surrounding this celebrated, debated and lamented element and resource.

Keynote Lecturers 

Steve Kieran, Kieran Timberlake
Tedd Benson, Bensonwood Homes