Gary Brewer to Present at the AIA The Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN) Symposium 2012September 7, 2012 – September 9, 2012
3:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m. (9/8/12); 8:00 a.m.–9:45 a.m. (9/9/12)
Newport, Rhode Island
RAMSA Partner Gary L. Brewer will be presenting at the AIA The Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN) Symposium 2012, September 7-9, in Newport, Rhode Island. The three-day symposium, entitled “Elevating the Art of Residential Design & Practice,” is open to all AIA and non-AIA members and will bring together architects from across the country to learn, share, and discuss the field of custom residential architecture.
On Saturday afternoon, September 8, Mr. Brewer will present “Big House, Little House: Market Meets Demand,” focusing on the divide between modernist houses designed for "patron" clients and traditional houses designed for the middle market.
Most architects prefer the aesthetics of modern design, yet the mass market favors traditional design. By focusing almost exclusively on high-end modernist designs, architects have not only limited their potential pool of clients, they also have abandoned traditional, middle-class housing, leaving mid-market house consumers without the support of architects, resulting in faux-traditional “McMansions.
Mr. Brewer argues that it's time for architects to return to serving the mid-market and its needs and preferences, rather than addressing exclusively the limited market of modern "patron" clients who commission one-of-a-kind residences. Although it is important to embrace all sizes and styles of houses, perhaps a leading factor determining style should be the homeowner’s house style preference.
The importance of the pattern book industry will be discussed: its early beginnings, rise to popularity in the early 20th century, its sharp decline after World War II, with the advent of modern design, and the continuing efforts of some architects and companies—among them Southern Living and This Old House magazines—to bring well-designed houses to the mid-market.
Closing his presentation, Brewer will suggest that architects ought to pay more attention to houses other than patron houses—whether taking modern or traditional paths. Training and education, he advises, will play an important role in cultivating both an appreciation for traditional architecture among future architects and encouraging them to address mid-market house consumers.
On Sunday morning, Mr. Brewer will participate in a panel, “S,M, L Firms.”
To register for the conference, please visit here.