Book Talk: The Future of Modular Architecture

Nov 3
6:00 pm
7:00 pm
Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY 10012
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David Wallance, FAIA, will present a lecture on his recently published book, The Future of Modular Architecture (Routledge, 2021). The Future of Modular Architecture presents an unprecedented proposal for mass-customized mid-and high-rise modular housing that can be manufactured and distributed on a global scale. The book’s thesis springs from the idea that adopting the dimensional standards of the existing intermodal freight transportation system is the key to achieving meaningful economies of scale. Advocating for open-source design based on this new modular standard, the book shows how global supply chains can be harnessed to realize the long-held promise that housing will be a well-designed and affordable industrial product. We are on the cusp of a transformative change in the way we design and build our cities. Author David Wallance, FAIA, argues that the future of modular architecture is profoundly intertwined with globalization, equitable urbanism, and sustainable development. His book addresses these timely issues through a specific approach grounded in fundamental concepts. Going beyond the individual modular building, Wallance forecasts the emergence of a new type of design, manufacturing, and construction enterprise. Speaker: David Wallance, FAIA, Founder, DRA/W David Wallance, FAIA, has worked on numerous award-winning buildings over the course of his 40-year career as an architect. For 20 years, he taught advanced building technology at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Highly regarded as a technically innovative designer, Wallance spearheaded the ultra-transparent glass façade at the Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York, hailed by the New York Times as “what may well be the finest example of glass curtain wall construction ever realized in the United States.” Turning his attention to the problem of urban housing affordability, in 2005 he began developing a next-generation system of mid-and high-rise modular architecture. Wallance has been an invited speaker at international conferences, including Greenbuild and Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, where he has presented and published his work. His book is the result of 15 years of research and thinking about a scalable approach to modular housing, and how that approach is situated in the broadest possible context. Wallance studied architecture at The Cooper Union in New York City. He is the founder of DRA/W, an architectural practice based in Brooklyn.