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Automobiles as Building Technologies

Mar 5 '13 7 Last Comment
nheiser
Mar 5, 13 1:19 am

I am writing a term paper for my 20th Century Architecture class on a building technology or a technology that has aided in the development of Architecture in the 19th and 20th centuries. I chose the automobile for its obvious impact on our built environment.  Some questions I have been asking myself are : How is the automobile like a building, and how has it influenced the design of buildings and urban planning? Also, What building technologies are directly related to those in automobiles. I have referenced a few books by Banham, Venturi, one about Archigram, and another called Inventing for the Environnment. Any discussions on this would be much appreciated.

 

will gallowaywill galloway
Mar 5, 13 4:54 am

Smart houses here work with cars. Cars become battery for solar power and can be used to run house if necessary. Other than that nothing much new goin on that I know of.

curtkram
Mar 5, 13 7:20 am

2 things immediately come to mind for me.  first is the ridiculous amount of land cars take up.  add up all the roads, driveways, garages, and parking lots between me and the grocery store; if you got rid of cars it would be easy to walk.

also, regarding 'cars as architecture' which might be a bit off from what your asking, but i'm pretty sure i've seen a few people in the surrounding neighborhoods who live in their cars.  so, you know, the car is a sort of architecture then.  they store lots of stuff in there, sleep in there in the parking lot at the park or CVS...

i like the idea of a car becoming a battery for the house.  how does that work?  do you guys put photovoltaics on the house, and if you produce extra juice it uses the car battery for storage? so the car has to be plugged in at the time, and somehow the plug knows to send electricity into the car when the house has too much energy or the car needs charged, then pulls electricity out when the house needs it?

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
Mar 5, 13 11:04 am

Starting nearly a century ago with Villa Savoye, the first house designed with the automobile in mind, and ending with today's luxury highrise apartments with personal automobile elevators, cars have radically transformed every aspect of culture and society.

This is what your paper should be about, and you should extrapolate futures based on continued automobile use vs. public transportation.

vado retro
Mar 5, 13 11:11 am

Uber fascist Henry Ford went against the other directors of Ford when he decided he would pay all his workers 5 dollars a day so they would be able to afford to buy a model T. of course, to qualify for the pay increase, which was substantial, any foreign born workers would have to take "americanization classes" . look it up. it's true. I would check PBS website to see if the episode about Henry Ford is available. 

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
Mar 5, 13 11:38 am

Ford also bought up streetcar companies in cities across the country and shut them down to eliminate competition.

mega_pointe
Mar 5, 13 11:51 am

Check out "Refabricating Architecture" by KieranTimberlake.

chris-chitect
Mar 5, 13 3:21 pm

There's also the relationship to the body, ergonomics, elbow room, controls being in reach and struggle between the form of the car for marketing and selling the thing, but the function for every day use.

I did a paper on spaces and gender. Domestic architecture reinforces gender roles quite often and so do cars. Check out the car that Volvo designed just for women.

Then there is the Eric Bana documentary called Love the Beast. Seems like a tangent, but has Dr. Phil talking about the psychology of owning a car. At one point the car is discussed as an adapted form of the fire pit. It's not just an object, but a space and place that men gather around to connect with each other.

Then there is all the practical stuff, like the fact that one of the selling points when I bought my apartment is that there is a place to wash the car indoors. For car guys this is a huge plus.

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