Transition Whatcom

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Comment by Michael Taylor Smith on September 19, 2011 at 10:33am

I will e-mail you the project later today. I sent it to bundledesign@ by mistake. I am at work and I don't have the file with me.

Comment by Michael Taylor Smith on September 19, 2011 at 10:19am

I did some research and I learned that you use fewer materials when a home is built in a factory then the site. It’s also quicker to build and is greener. I understand what you are saying. I mainly design regular homes with a living room, dining room, kitchen, family room ECT. Thanks for the commits I’ve been working on the technical trading and trying to figure out where you would have the built in’s for boots, coats, games, TV, ECT. I work backwards I come up with the design first then I focus on the technical drawings. The home will have central heating.  This home in particular does not have a kitchen so you can’t cook. You can only use a solar cooker or use the shared kitchen. I’m trying different ideas; it’s completely different from regular ones and communities I have worked on. So this is a challenge and its completely different from how I typically design homes. So what do you do? Are you a land scape architect or just an architect?

Comment by dan welch on September 15, 2011 at 1:49pm

yeah....send me the competition entry. I would love to take a look at it. 

bundledesign (at) gmail (dot) com


As for the factory, there are very few around here. There is one just across the border in Canada. Most have gone out of business.  Is there a reason that you would want to build it in a factory? This would have some huge implications on your design as it would have to be shipped in two pieces. I understand the desire in theory as buildings built in a factory are in better weather conditions and could possibly attain higher material efficiencies. What I do not like about factory built homes is the assembly line mentality. There is a very strong building culture in the United States and by building homes in factories on assembly lines good carpenters and laborers are put out of work. yes it might cost a bit more and take a bit more time, but not much and it is putting good people to work rather than machines. 

Again, I would just encourage you to story board who lives in these houses. how do they live. what do they do. for example. rainy night 6 people sitting around....what do they do? I assume they gather around the hearth, drink wine, play cards or listen to music.  They gather around the fire for ambiance but also for heat. Does a fireplace provide ambiance? yes. Does it provide heat? no. Then how can we provide the ambiance and the heat? a wood stove. Could the wood stove provide any other amenities? yes, you could cook, make tea or coffee, even heat hot water for showers or room heating.  Does the addition of a wood stove have any drawbacks? yes, it will take up a bit more floor space. It is hot and there for could cause injury to the unaware or small children. 

Again, I appreciate your desire to be a minimalist, but you have to run through a rigid design process, a decision making process to make your designs culturally rich and appropriate. Storyboard, storyboard, storyboard. where do you hang your coat? where do muddy boots from the garden go?is there a place to get out of the rain while standing at the front door?

Right now you basically have a box. you haven't really designed the house yet. 

Push, push, push. cut some holes in the box.  tell me a story with the house design. right now I dont have a story I only have a box floating in space. 


Again, send me your comp. I would love to see it. 




Comment by Michael Taylor Smith on September 15, 2011 at 10:33am

I do not have a lot of info on the site. The design will be changed when I know
there the sun rises and sets ECT. There will not be windows on all sides. This
model does not have a kitchen at all, but other designs do. About the bedding this
is just an example, there could be 8 twin beds, four twin beds and one queen
sized bed, four bunk beds, just a queen sized bed ECT. This design is simple
and flexible so there can be adjustments. For now it’s just one open room with
beds in it. All you do in the bed room is sleep that was the point. Did you see
the next picture its part of the home. It has a living room and dining room. The
room with nothing in it is where the bathroom will be. So the design in flexible,
there are larger designs with separate bedrooms and stuff like that. I will you
look you up and can I have you email so I can email you the presentation? Oh
and the last thing I am looking for a local factory in the area of the site.
The community plan you will see will change because I don’t know where the
contour lines are where the sin rises and set and stuff like that. Thanks for the feedback


Comment by dan welch on September 14, 2011 at 4:38pm

I would like to see the whole presentation. 

Village style living is an interesting concept. But would the houses look the same as "normal" houses today or would they be something completely different?

And you added a hearth? if you are going to provide combustion as a heating source why not provide a wood stove that has a cooking hob that the residents can cook or just make tea and heat their homes at the same time. 

And lastly........ there is not orientation to your house. windows are evenly distributed across all faces of the building. I assume you did this because you are designing in a vacuum without a specific site. I strongly suggest choosing a site no matter what you are designing....even if this is going to be built in a factory. It will give your building the ability to address the sun, views and a sense of spacial hierarchy. 

Personally I still question your "open" plan concept for accpetance in our society. We tend to be very conservative. I don't think the general public would feel comfortable sleeping with their partners right next to other people. You can argue that we are exiting a community based in monogamy, but I think it would be a hard sell. People still value their privacy. Even providing a fabric curtain between spaces would give the feel of intimate space. 

Have fun with your designs. just keep studying, observing and theorizing how people will use these spaces.

look us up when you make it to Whatcom county.


Comment by Michael Taylor Smith on September 14, 2011 at 4:16pm

lol of course I thought of this stuff. This home is part of a planned community. Since we used up a lot of our natural resources around the world I designed this community to use as less materials as possible. It seemed like a waste of materials for every house to have a separate stove, dishwasher, oven ECT. This is also a charity project I have a budget. There is a space for a bathroom but I forgot to finish it. Silly right? Only six people will live in the cube there are two guest beds. Also as part of the community there will be large activity building. It will feature a large kitchen and have gather spaces ECT. I did not upload the entire project. I did explain my project carefully in the presentation I sent. I was inspired by the homes in Spain. They have small homes because they spend a lot of time outside. The community features open spaces for community gatherings, large building for community events, community gardens and edible gardens and so much more. So the idea is small interior living large outdoor living. I can email you the presentation if you would like to see the whole project. Oh and here is compaction that I entered

Comment by dan welch on September 14, 2011 at 3:28pm

what design competition did you enter? 

Just as a might think about the daily activities of these 8 people living in a cube. 

where do they cook, eat, wash, shit, fuck......ect. 

I appreciate your desire to be minimal but dont forget to work culture into your projects.

Comment by Michael Taylor Smith on September 14, 2011 at 3:24pm

I live in Maryland right now and I am attending Anne Arundel Community College. I am taking an architecture course for the fall. My family and I are moving to Whatcom, I hope to build a house like this for my family and me. I also entered this into a design compaction. Oh and yes I am a designer

Comment by dan welch on September 14, 2011 at 3:16pm

sorry cut off. 


are you a designer in the whatcom county area?

Comment by dan welch on September 14, 2011 at 3:15pm
are you a designer?

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