An Open House for Affordable Modernism*
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Our love for modernist housing is being rekindled as many more people deliberately depart from traditional housing. People want homes that are distinguished by their openness and livability through the use of innovative design, materials and construction methods. And they want modern homes whose cost is comparable to more traditional housing available in their community.
Affordable modernism need not be an oxymoron! Small, entrepreneurial companies eager to address this emerging market are offering modern housing products. However, the market remains small, and it can be difficult for consumers to find housing that matches their desires. Similarly, it is hard for developers and others in the housing industry to evaluate consumer demand for modernist housing. There is no one best place to find them all online: modern housing designers or developments, consumers or communities.
LiveModern is a service that helps connect the public interested in modern housing to a range of providers, including architects, developers, builders, lenders, and realtors, among others. Our goal is to make modernism more accessible. LiveModern looks forward to a future in which modernist housing is widely available because it is affordable to a majority of home buyers, and it is easy to find in their community.
To realize our mission and vision, LiveModern will initially focus on three broad strategies:
- conduct outreach to and education for consumers to introduce them to the options for modern housing, thereby demonstrating to producers the size of the market for affordable modernism;
- develop a cooperative marketing infrastructure, including conducting market research about consumer demand, for producers of modernist housing; and
- link LiveModern members to each other in geographically-defined markets, connecting modern home buyers to producers—designers, developers, contractors and realtors, among others.
All of these strategies will reinforce each other, thus continually expanding the market for producers as well as consumers. In the implementation of each of these strategies, LiveModern will exemplify the values that distinguish successful communities of interest in emerging markets: transparency, accountability, openness, fairness, cooperation and civility.
The principle benefit for consumers and producers alike is that they will be able to find each other through LiveModern. For example, a family interested in building a modern house will be able to more easily find an architect, a stock plan, or a prefab to suit their needs. As the LiveModern community grows and becomes more diverse, consumers with similar interests in a geographic market will be able to organize demand for a modernist housing development, while architects or manufacturers will be able to work with local developers to meet localized demand.
LiveModern is a community of consumers and producers of modern housing dedicated to this mission and vision, as well as strategies and values. Membership is free and open to anyone who is interested in modernist housing.
Welcome to our Open House, and help make our new community a place you'd want to live by joining the LiveModern community. Be sure to invite your friends and neighbors. Feel free link to this invitation in any appropriate forum. And click on the button below if you want to comment on our approach to making modernism affordable. (You must be a registered member of the LiveModern community to add a comment.)
* This statement was developed in July and August 2003 by participants in the National Modernist Housing Network discussion forum originally hosted by Dwell Magazine. LiveModern opened its doors on September 19, 2003. (Unfortunately, Dwell did not archive the original discussion.)