Have you made it to each and every one of this term’s Big Picture Lecture Series? No? Did you know you can watch them, in their entirety, on Art Center’s iTunes U page? Just make sure you have the latest version of iTunes and start watching!
This past Monday, ecological entrepreneur Steve Glenn spoke to a standing-room-only crowd in Art Center’s Los Angeles Times Media Center about his company LivingHomes, which works with renowned architects, like Ray Kappe and KieranTimberlake Associates, to create prefabricated homes.
During the lecture, Glenn made a compelling argument for why prefab homes can be built “better, quicker, cheaper and with a smaller ecological footprint” than traditional on-site construction.
He also shared some personal history and provided insight to his business decisions.
On his earlier aspirations:
“I wanted to be Frank Lloyd Wright. In college I [entered] a design program and learned that I neither had the talent nor the temperament to be an architect. I also learned that [Frank Lloyd Wright] wasn’t such a nice guy.”
On Ray Kappe:
“Ray Kappe is one of my all-time favorite architects. He has a big ego about design but not about himself. His public reputation . . . is nowhere as great as it should be, based on the work that he does. He’s a rare modernist that integrates a craftsman-like attention to detail and warmth.”
On the ecological benefits of prefab:
“In typical site-built construction, 30 to 40 percent of the materials end up as construction waste. Indeed, if you talk to any of the landfill guys, they’ll tell you the biggest part of any landfill, up to one third, is construction waste.”
On why he chose his house as LivingHomes’ first project:
“I didn’t want any other customer to bitch at us if anything was wrong. I’d be the customer. There’d be no one else to bitch at. I’d take the biggest grenades.”
Glenn’s home, a modernist structure chock-full of ecological amenities—a photovoltaic “LivingRoof” that produces 75 percent of the home’s power needs, a cistern that recycles water into a pond and a waterfall, and low-flow faucets, just to name a few—was the first home to ever receive LEED Platinum certification.
Be sure to check out the entire lecture online.
Next up in the Big Picture Lecture series: LA Weekly’s Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold presents “Authenticity, Culture and the Kimchi Taco” (July 5, 1 pm, Los Angeles Times Media Center).