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Scholarship of Design
Making Prefabrication American
Anna Goodman
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This article discusses the work of A. Lawrence Kocher in order to capture the relationship between the social and technical commitments of early twentieth-century architectural modernism in the United States. It analyzes Kocher’s professional activity, scholarship, policy advocacy, design-build pedagogy, and editorship at Architectural Record (1927–1938). In these realms, Kocher helped introduce prefabrication and standardized detailing to the American architectural profession. He emphasized the accessibility of prefabrication in both historical research and cutting-edge material experimentation. In so doing, Kocher provided a version of modernism that appealed to an American audience. While his vision of design as a social good differed from that of his European social democratic contemporaries, it represents an important and too little studied conception of the potential of building technology to support democracy and the fair distribution of housing for all. Read the full article at Taylor & Francis.