Maciunas Prefabricated Building System:
AN ASSESSMENT REPORT
Founder of Fluxus Also Visionary Architect and Inventor
George Maciunas, the driving force behind the Fluxus, increasing viewed as one of the major Post-Modern art movements of the past half century, was also personally responsible for the residential renovation of Soho by way of cooperative housing. Trained as an architect, cooperative living arrangements, or Fluxhouses, were never far from Maciunas thoughts. The George Maciunas Foundation has just released a Comprehensive Assessment Report of Maciunas prefabricated housing to explore its current potential for the provision of affordable, well-designed community based housing.
Born in Lithuania to an architect and engineer father, Maciunas (1931-1978) apprenticed in his father’s office before immigrating to the United States with his family after World War II. Their first residence was the post-war housing development in Levittown, Long Island, giving Maciunas early, first hand experience of mass-produced prefabricated housing.
In 1954, Maciunas earned an architectural degree from Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Institute of Technology. After graduation, he worked for several major firms, including Skidmore, Owing and Merrill, and the highly regarded designers Knoll Associates. In the early sixties, Maciunas focus shifted to avant-garde art, designing publications and organizing festivals promoting American, European and Asian experimental artists such as Joseph Beuys, Nam June Paik and Yoko Ono.
Despite his association with innovative artists of 1960’s, his involvement with affordable mass produced pre-fabricated housing was a concrete example of his practical nature. A student of history, Maciunas was intimately aware of the preceding building systems of Le Corbusier (homes as “machines for living”), and Buckminister Fuller’s geodesic dome. He was also interested in advanced housing developments in the Soviet Union. The Fluxhouses are modeled on these precedents.
As a way to avoid the bland conformity of Soviet block housing, or a Levittown development, Maciunas stressed optimum flexibility and adaptability. His system of Fluxhouses is based on panels and modules so that it can expand, contract, or change shape to meet any required function (personal, public or commercial).
The newly available Assessment Report provides an extended history of prefabricated housing systems, explains in detail how the Maciunas system of Fluxhouses work,
and proposes steps for realizing the design in the current market. To read the report in full, visit the George Macunias website at www.georgemaciunas.com
- Table of Content
- The Architects Newspaper: George Maciunas Prefabricated Building System
- THE FLUXHOUSE COOPERATIVES by Charles R. Simpson
- Digital Animation
MACIUNAS PREFABRICATED BUILDING SYSTEM An Assessment Report Designed by Alina Ryk and Harry Stendhal Stendhal Gallery, New York2009 ©Think OffSite LLC and The George Maciunas Foundation, Inc New York Report prepared by Think OffSite LLC for The George Maciunas Foundation, Inc. 1965©All Rights Reserved 2013 George Maciunas Foundation Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the written permission of the George Maciunas Foundation, Inc.