George Maciunas / Fluxus Foundation Inc.
February 1 – June 1, 2013
New York, NY. George Maciunas/Fluxus Foundation is pleased to present “Fluxcities: Prefabricated/Modular Building System” in the foundation gallery space at 454 West 19th St. Engaging Maciunas’ statement “efficiency is giving the most performance for the least cost“, the exhibition critically explores Fluxhouse/Fluxcity as a solution to achieve social welfare by raising the Quality/Standard of Living for communities across the economic spectrum.
George Maciunas invented the 1900-sq-ft prefabricated mass building system known as Fluxhouse as a cost-efficient, sustainable, and multifunctional solution for social housing. Fluxhouse is a modular unit based on a minimum number of components which can be customized to residential, institutional, industrial, and agricultural functions, and multiplied to construct buildings of any size. Intended for factory production, Fluxhouse has simple tooling requirements and is readily adaptable to existing automation systems. This eco-friendly design is resistant to natural disasters including fires, floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes as well as deterioration caused by rot, termites, corrosion, and discoloration.
Maciunas was awarded architectural degrees from Cooper Union (1952) and Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Institute of Technology (1954). After graduation, he worked for several major firms, including Skidmore, Owing and Merrill (1955-57), the highly regarded designers Knoll Associates (1960-61) (interior design, interior graphics, exhibits, displays, structures), and Olin Mathieson (1957-1960) (R&D Aluminum div product development and design) where he is credited with the invention of a structural framework useful in construction of prefabricated buildings using extruded aluminum beams and columns. Furthermore, Maciunas received a patent for the innovative modular building system in 1961. The Fluxhouse design was completed and copyrighted in 1965 as an invention which can be used to build a single family house, a highrise building, or an entire city (Fluxcity™).
Intended as an improved design to Soviet Block Housing and Levittowns, Fluxhouse is a flexible building system which reduces costs through an innovative manufacturing process of prefabrication rather than a reduction of living space. Fluxcity marries Maciunas’ collectivist sensibility with his interest in learning models as an solution to amend economic inequality through adaptive urban design.
As the world faces its greatest economic challenges due to poor property speculation and expanding populations, Fluxcity holds great promise as part of a national program like Roosevelt’s New Deal to amend shantytowns and sprawl, aid unemployment, and provide relief to lower and middle class communities. On a global scale, Fluxcity has immediate potential to repair slums, which is regarded as the world’s fastest growing urban habitat as the number of residents have risen from 777 million to 830 million in 2010.
In demonstrating an organic process of need-based growth, Fluxcity’s evolutionary design principles will be examined in relation to Maciunas’ theories on knowledge processing in the web exhibit. The foundation will present images by German-born photographer Christoph Gielen, whose aerial photographs of isolated suburban settlements and rapid urban developments raise critical awareness on the hidden geometries of the built environment. Topics of commercialism, starchitecture, nomadism, and collective intelligence will be explored in the scholarly works of writer Stewart Brand, mathematician Nikos Salingaros, Dr. Michael Haerdter, professor Rosi Braidotti, and Jessica Rhee, among others.
“An Assessment Report on Fluxhouse” is available, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
This exhibition is organized by Harry Stendhal.