Dependency of Production

Student: Christopher Allick
Adviser: John Mueller

exterior perspective

The allure of industrialization has captivated the imagination and interest of architects since the early days of mass production.  New industrial processes allowed for high quality goods to be produced at a rapid pace with a high level of efficiency.  While the production processes were innovative and inventive, the facilities producing the goods were equally as impressive.  These new production processes were highly proprietary and the design of the factory had to respond to the need to keep these processes secretive.  The factory became exclusive and off-limits to the general public.  As workers fought for better working conditions and new industrial processes evolved, so did factory design.  Factories began to introduce more natural light and ventilation through new structural and material innovations, but the production process remained unforthcoming.

This thesis begins with a focus on two interdependent components; product and factory.  The product is unique in the sense that the process may be fairly simple and familiar but the product is underutilized and misunderstood.  The product that will be investigated is a steel frame modular building system.  Modular is a system that has existed since the middle of the 20th century but remains underutilized in the field of architecture, mainly because it is misunderstood.


The factory will work to manufacture the steel frame modular product while opening up the facility to the public and educating them about the product, its potential application and the actual process in which the product is manufactured.  The factory will comment on the current nature of factory design while suggesting what the next generation of factory design will be.  The factory will work to foster an increased dependency between the factory and the community in which both are beneficiaries.

It is the intent of this thesis to provide a framework for the next generation of factory design while providing a thoroughly developed example of a potential application of this framework.  This thesis comments on the current nature of factory design, steel frame modular as a building system, and current manufacturing processes while providing solutions and ideas for the future.