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Scholarship of Design
A House is Not a Car (Yet)
Mathew Aitchison
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The automotive industry has played a crucial role in the thinking around mass prefabricated housing since the early twentieth century. In Australia, a chronic housing affordability crisis, combined with the pending departure of automotive manufacturing, means that the house/car couplet is again under comparison—and not always for the right reasons. The key argument of this article is that a better understanding of the specificities of housing relative to other industries has the potential to release industrialized housing from the trope of a perennial “good idea” that ultimately leads to disappointing results. This might free the industry, allowing it to provide truly innovative and disruptive solutions to the problems surrounding contemporary housing. Further, a richer understanding of the differences between the house and car as industrial products will clarify thinking around the current status of industrialized building production and help chart a more productive future course for housing more generally. Read the full article at Taylor & Francis.