Thursday, November 1, 2018

New Modular Startup Could Be Onto Something

This article from the New York Times caught my eye as it interviews a very successful designer and explorer of new ideas. Yves Behar talks about his observations of the current state of modular housing and how his design, though not unlike other new startups across the country, is poised to go into markets that already have a very high need for his homes but local government is encouraging it.

Here is the New York Times article:

Yes, In Your Backyard

Are accessory dwelling units the answer to the housing shortage? The designer Yves Béhar thinks so, and he has a new prototype to prove it.

By Tim McKeough Oct. 31, 2018

In the San Francisco Bay Area, a region filled with technology companies interested in design, Yves Béhar is a designer interested in technology. Among other things, Mr. Béhar and his company, Fuseproject, have helped create August smart door locks, PayPal’s brand identity, an app-connected height-adjusting desk for Herman Miller, the Snoo smart bassinet and Ori robotic furniture.

For his latest project, Mr. Béhar has turned his attention to housing. Working with LivingHomes and its manufacturing offshoot, Plant Prefab, which has attracted venture capital funding from Amazon’s Alexa Fund and Obvious Ventures, he has designed the YB1: a modular, customizable accessory dwelling unit (or A.D.U.) intended to serve as a stand-alone residence in just about any backyard.

A rendering of the YB1, a prefabricated accessory dwelling unit designed by Yves Béhar, the founder of the San Francisco-based design firm Fuseproject.

A.D.U.s — secondary residences like in-law units associated with a larger home — are already popular in cities like Portland, Ore., Seattle and Vancouver, Canada, and have recently been getting a lot of attention in California. Over the past few years, the state and numerous counties and cities have introduced new laws and programs aimed at encouraging homeowners to build A.D.U.s in response to housing shortages

Mr. Béhar, who is presenting his first YB1 at the Summit ideas festival in Los Angeles this weekend, spoke about the design ahead of its unveiling.

Why should people care about accessory dwelling units?
It’s basically an extra building you can build in your backyard. This is now being recognized as a solution for adding housing, whether it’s for aging parents, students or people who are just starting out.

CLICK HERE to read the entire NYT article

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