An Award-Winning Architect Discusses the Future of Manufactured Homes

What do people think of when they hear the term “manufactured home” or “mobile home”?

Jennifer Siegal owns the Office of Mobile Design, a company that designs prefabricated mobile homes. Her work earned her the arcVision 2016 Women in Architecture Prize. Siegal recently sat down for a wide-ranging, in-depth interview with the architecture magazine Metropolis.

Here are some of the highlights. You can read the entire piece here.

On the reputation of “trailer parks”:

Siegal is a proponent of the communal living environment found in manufactured home communities, with their shared gardens and closer relationships between neighbors. “People are very much aware of who’s living next door to them, and say hello. Also a lot of older people live in trailer parks because that’s all they can afford but then—it’s like a built in family,” she said.

On altering the stigma of “mobile homes”:

She doesn’t buy it. “I do believe that there is a greater recognition or understanding now of what manufactured housing can be—all the way down to the Tiny House movement,” Siegal said.

On her work to change that reputation:

Siegal recently began work on a prototype for a “luxury home” created through the same techniques now used in manufactured home design and construction. “The goal…is to develop at this high end, but then offer versions that are more affordable.”