Larry Sass

New York City, with its sky-high rents, is once again seeking solutions to affordable housing. Designing Affordability: Quicker, Smarter, More Efficient Housing Now, on display at the Center for Architecture, is currently offering 23 case studies to address the issue. 

The presentations, curated by Marc Norman, a Loeb Fellow at Harvard GSD, feature both conceptual and built projects that are rooted in the concept of space, instead of just simple number crunching. For example, projects such as My Micro New York by nArchitects and Songpa Micro Housing by SsD/Dyne Architects use modular designs that fit small spaces.

Some projects are also looking at solving similar problems in San Francisco. Urbanism from Within by California College of Arts also offers numerous strategies to reformat existing Victorian houses in San Francisco to create in-law units. Retrofitting garages to create ground-floor apartments and adding new street access to upper stories allow architects to work around San Francisco's restrictive zoning and development regulations.

However, while many of the projects address practical approaches to accommodate diverse groups of people, none address the root causes of rent prices, land values, and construction costs.

Read more about the exhibition at Metropolis

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