[ Andrew McFarland ] Klip House

This project is a result of our participation in Sixteen Houses - a project organized and curated by Michael Bell in 1998 and funded by the Graham Foundation, the Fifth Ward Redevelopment Corporation, and DiverseWorks in Houston. Sixteen architects and designers were invited nationally to generate innovative concepts and new options for a low-income house - to expand the very limited market. To briefly describe the voucher program - these are Federal and State initiatives that provide financial assistance to qualified families and individuals by awarding, housing “Vouchers” to serve as the down payment on a house. In its current format, the voucher system distributes a mass of capital such that one voucher equals one house.

We were, and are, frustrated with a design system that is constricted by insurance companies, loan officers, municipalities, and contractors, etc. and decided to look at the overall economic impact that these vouchers might have if they were bundled, rather than distributed. Instead of designing a single house that has very little impact to the housing industry, we worked with the idea of consolidating the vouchers to pay for a housing platform, or infrastructure. We needed to work outside of the home mortgage process in order to gain some ground.

We conceived of housing as a system of services rather than a structure, or product.

Product Model: This diagram describes how a standard thirty-year mortgage loan works. To go back to the voucher system for a moment, federal and state initiatives that try to give opportunities using vouchers as a down payment (while well intended) still make use of the mortgage system – one significant financial strain for a low-income household could be enough to cause a family to default on their loan, losing everything. Klip House works outside of the home mortgage process by providing a platform for delivering and servicing the house.

Service Model: This diagram describes how a service based housing system might work. Equity can be built incrementally; building along the way rather than in one large risk. Klip is essentially engaging financing systems that exist in automotive and product industries. Power structures, in economic terms, are redistributed to enable private investments in housing at a manageable scale. Innovation in the Klip House is that it is a service based platform, rather than product based.

The Klip binder is essentially an adjustable footing system. These are mass produced pieces equipment that serve as the infrastructure, deployed between an open array of housing components that can be added, released, interchanged, upgraded and rearranged – through both customized and catalogue configurations. Components are available in three and six foot widths, each made with a variety of options and upgrades. The architectural contribution is simply to introduce a single enabling technology, i.e. the binder, to generate or illicit response.

Adjustable Footing System: In skiing and snowboarding, the binder is the primary piece of high performance equipment that attaches the body to the board and effectively to the ground. Binders have a wide range of performance adjustability that comes from experimentation

Two Binders with Adjustable Footings: Locked and Unlocked Position

Six Foot Wide Rubbermaid Component

Klip House is a delivery system concerned with the economic and technical aspects of a house, its services and assembly. We began by looking at consumer products and services, from an automobile to a computer, looking at the payment and finance structures, performance expectations, warranties, customization, upgrade, etc, and began to assemble these issues relative to routines and cycles of a house.

Order Form: Klip House configurations are assembled from a selection of components and binders that can be either leased or purchased from a local authorized Klip dealership. Clients choose from a catalogue of components manufactured and serviced by corporations not typically associated with the housing industry. For example, rather than build a conventional bathroom and rely on the city for sewage, the consumer orders a full-port component from BFI, which is serviced by BFI. A kitchen component might be ordered by Rubbermaid. Or "Expand your house with a PlaySkool cradleklip #0597-2 ps for that pleasant, but unexpected pregnancy."

Platform: Components are available in three and six foot widths, each made available with a variety of options. Components can be purchased or leased.

Four Binders and Two Rails

Two Six Foot Wide Components

Represented here are three different scenarios for the Klip House: The Extended Family, The Property Mates, and the Executive Couple.

We recognized that this was an ambitious proposition and began to speculate on applications that could substantiate and ramp-up the manufacturing process. An enormous amount of capital would be required to establish such a system. These are two scenarios for how private or government agencies might be involved.

Government Med Post (used for remote medical emergencies):Medication Distribution, Treatment, Research and Conference, Patient Care, Office Support, Storage

Haliburton Field Post (used for oil and mineral research):Communication Center, Research and Conference, Office Support, Storage, Hazardous Loading

These are scenarios that imagine and take into account the aftermarket material consequence; speculating that there would be dealerships for used and refurbished components. These images are perhaps the purest expression of the system - and in many ways, serve as a diagram for what the system can do.

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