Listen on any of the major podcast streaming platforms including:
I’m joined by Bo Sundius, the owner of Bunch Design. His latest project, the Stop Making Sense Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), explores how you can make a small space feel big. ADUs are 1,200 square foot houses built on an existing single family home property. The space must include a kitchen, bathroom, and a bedroom. Bo highlights that this format allows for some income flexibility that can really help middle class dreams come true, provide a space to help care for aging parents, and respond to the housing crisis in California.
Bo walks us through his firm’s typical design process and how they went about designing this specific project. His approach is to think outside of the box, literally and figuratively, and imagine the space from the inside out. Making an 800-to-1,200 square foot home feel expansive and airy isn’t necessarily about the construction, but rather cognition. His design includes vaulted ceilings, skylights, and minimal corners.
Growing up in a home that was built on land and water, it’s no surprise that Bo rejects the idea of cookie-cutter houses. We talk about trends of pre-design without prefabrication, his thoughts about the sustainability of venture capital-driven innovation in design and construction, and the reality of 3D printed homes. We also touch on the future of property development in light of historical and recent economic booms and busts.
Bo Sundius is the owner of Bunch Design, the Los Angeles-based design firm he founded with his wife Hisako Ichiki. Bunch Design’s work crosses product, building and urban scales and has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Los Angeles Times and Dwell Magazine. Previously, he worked at Jerde and at Roto Architects, both in Los Angeles. He is a graduate of Brown University and Sci-Arc.
[00:00:00] What goes into making an iconic building in America? What are the stories and who are the people behind the next generation of architecture? If your work touches the real estate industry in any way, or you’re just curious about what goes into one of a kind cities and towns all across our country, join us on the American Building Podcast.
In season two, we learned about everything from skyscrapers to single-family homes from the famous and soon-to-be-famous designers and developers responsible. This season focuses particularly on the pandemic and how our buildings will change in response. Our sponsor is the iconic design firm, Michael Graves Architecture and Design. And now, your host award-winning architect-turned-entrepreneur, Atif Qadir, AIA.
[00:00:47] Atif Qadir: This is American Building, and I’m your host, Atif Qadir. I’m the CEO of REDIST, a technology company focused on innovative public financing for real estate projects. We are recording from the historic home of world renowned architect, Michael Graves, in Princeton, New Jersey. Check out this amazing space for yourself at the Michael Graves Architecture and Design YouTube channel. Now, let’s build something.
Today. Our guest is architect Bo sundaes. Bo is the owner of bunch design, the Los Angeles based design firm. He founded with his wife. He SoCo ETQ. Bunch of designs work across as product building and urban scales, and as appeared in a wide array of publications, including the Los Angeles times and dwell magazine previously, he worked at jeopardy and at roto architects, both of those in Los Angeles, uh, he is a graduate of brown university and SCI-Arc, we will be talking about his stop making sense project and accessory dwelling unit or ADU project.
More broadly. We will talk about the real estate industry’s relationship with innovation and how that is changing and could change in the future as well. So thank you so much for being here with us, Beau.
[00:02:06] Bo Sundius: Hi. Thank you. I’ll tell this wonderful.
[00:02:10] Atif Qadir: Absolutely. Thank you much so much for your time. So your path to being an architect started with of all things fishing.
[00:02:17] Bo Sundius: Tell us about that. Yes. I grew up not in Los Angeles, but in outside of Nashville, Tennessee on a farm. Um, not a very, not a working one, but a smaller one. And, um, but it was a wonderful piece of property. And my father who was an engineer had this wild idea of hiring an architect. But the caveat was is that he wanted to build the house half on land and half on water.
And the architect said, fine, just as long as you sign this waiver, that you’ll never Sue me for anything. And you assure that it won’t flood. And my dad did. And so I grew up in this amazing and kind of wild house where you could sit on the floor on the carpet of the living room and open up a sliding glass door and, and, and fish from the living.
I caught a few pillows too, on my back cast and a few friends.
[00:03:15] Atif Qadir: So I feel like the home environment is one of those quintessential places for spouses to, to argue and disagree. I am so curious about your mother’s take on this whole production of a half land, half
[00:03:31] Bo Sundius: home. Oh, she loved it. She loved it.
Yeah. Everyone was, was very excited about it. I mean, it was so dramatic. And it just changes your perspective on everything. I mean, that, that one room that was pretty far out into the lake, like the sunlight, as it reflected off of the lake and hit the ceiling, like it was this kind of miasma of, of different color and, and sunlight.
And it was just always engaging and always beautiful. And you know, when you, when a storm would come through and Tennessee gets strong storms, you know, lots of rain coming down and, and, and raindrops as big as dimes. And you can literally see the, the lake was only four acres. You could see the lake getting, you know, rising.
And there was this drama of like, is today, the day it’s going to flood, which is wonderfully exciting. Pending disaster is always something, but it never did. And, you know, we were always, we were always good, but I think. That kind of, um, excitement, intention, right. Of things that aren’t supposed to belong together, you know, rubbing them together.
Like an interest in program in context is something that I, that I always took with me. And of course I would not have become an architect. Had I not been living in that house. It was so exciting. So something that I wanted to do myself, I w someday I hope that I have a property that, that I can work on that has enough room and lakes and things to work with.
But until that I’m working in a very urban Los Angeles environment that, you know, so our cues are less from lakes and trees and pastures nearby and more of a city environment of, of good commercial streets. Palm trees, Hills power lines, all those things that make, you know, an urban experience, really wonderful.
[00:05:32] Atif Qadir: So listeners, uh, in season three, we will be taking the podcast on the road for part of the season and hopefully have a chance to visit a wonderful homes at perhaps even the, the one that Voges just described in Nashville. So you can look out for that next season. So both from there, from Nashville, you went on to Providence, to brown, and you took classes also at neighboring the neighboring school, the Rhode Island school of design.
What was college like for you? And how did that set the stage for your career going forward from there as an architect,
[00:06:07] Bo Sundius: it will, Providence is a great town. It’s, it’s, it’s a, it’s a city, but it’s smaller. It’s manageable. You can walk everywhere, has an amazing history to it. Brown was an amazing place.
Great people, great professors, the curriculum in that they allow you to create your own curriculum. It’s really a college of kind of choose your own adventure, which is very nice. It does not have an architecture program, architecture history. So, and when I went to brown, I wasn’t, I hadn’t decided I was going to be an architect, but I was, so I majored in English lit and, um, and creative writing then found that was so close.
We could take classes there. I was taking, I did jump into the architecture studios at Rezdy and took as many classes as I could. So, so I, I really enjoyed that. I realized I wanted to do architecture afterschool. And I got my taste, which was really wonderful. But then at brown, I was able to expand my interests and different cultures, more architectural history, writing narrative, making critical theory, just reading great books.
[00:07:20] Atif Qadir: Bo out of curiosity, then if you have a, kind of a free, free reign to be able to define your curriculum over the four years, how does one then major in something? Is there like a, a set of classes that you have to take to be an English lit major and then everything else it’s choose your own.
[00:07:38] Bo Sundius: Pretty much.
Yeah. For English lit you. I mean, I think I had to think you had to take classes from different periods of English literature. So it was kind of the Beowulf time. And then, you know, the Shakespearian time and then a lot of different other classes that were electives. I remember one on travel writing was particularly interesting and reading about Orientalism and, um, but then even which was really about, you know, your culture sense of the exotic, you know, and then like looking outside, looking in, of course it’s very normal for them, but it’s very colonial in its, in its take on things.
And that’s interesting. But then there was also a lot of bill Bryson and just kind of getting out there on the road and experiencing things. So you, you, you see how writing and visualizing things in are recording and on paper. Changes, but then you do enough critical theory that you’ve read Barthes. You know, that the, that the author is dead, you know, that it’s really the reader’s interpretation of things is really what’s important.
And so all of that’s kind of stewing in my head as I kind of cart off to architecture school and try to deploy a lot of the similar tactics.
[00:08:54] Atif Qadir: So on that note, you headed to Los Angeles to study at SCI-Arc. And how would you compare your time that you just described out east and Providence to your time in Los Angeles?
And tell us some about, about some of the architects that influenced you at
[00:09:11] Bo Sundius: SCI-Arc. Yeah, well, I had this great desire to go west. I was from the south. I had gone north really wanted to go west. Um, I visited SCI-Arc. They said that on the first day you had to build your own deck. And I thought that was just great.
I mean that I kind of choose your own adventure that I had experienced at brown was now continuing and an even more extreme way in this school that was only 25 years old at the time. Avant-garde enough that you’re building your own desk and, you know, people are literally experimenting on the building that you’re studying.
And, you know, one of the thesis that occurred when I was there as someone in the middle of the night, chopped the wall out of the building and then hung it several feet off of the ground in a, in a real do it yourself kind of Deconstructivism and you know, they got in trouble a little bit, but then they also got up for it.
And, um, you know, that was, that was great. So siren was a really wonderful, wonderful place. The instruction was on point. It was experimental, it was thoughtful. It allowed everyone to really bring their different talents. Their talents for all my fellow students, their talents were coming from a wide place.
They weren’t all coming from Ivy league schools. You were coming from all over the world, different backgrounds and it just felt incredibly real. And that was great. My instructors encouraged us to, you know, encourage me to really look at my interest in narrative writing and literature, to bring that into architecture and to experiment with it.
Of course the critiques were on-point, but they were encouraging. And, um, and sire was, uh, was a, was a really great place and, and continues to be. I met, he SoCo at SCI-Arc she’s coming from Japan. She grew up outside of Tokyo in a city called. Which, uh, which I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, but it’s about an hour and a half south of Tokyo.
It’s a beach side town. It was the capital in the 11th century. So it has its own real kind of its own history and its own narrative. But then it’s also has access to this amazing metropolis that is Tokyo. So I meet her at school and, you know, she’s coming with all of her interests and, and in kind of one seeing America for, for this kind of new experience.
Um, I had an interest in, in Japan. I had done an independent study project on Japanese architecture actually, when I was at, at brown, which I did really badly and I got a really bad grade, but sometimes these things don’t matter because they take your life. It’s very unexpected. And then you can show.
[00:12:11] Atif Qadir: So it sounds like you went from, at brown, a choose your own adventure in terms of classes to choose your own furniture.
That’s kind of the theme of, of the start of your SCI-Arc journey. So I am really interested in terms of the professors, the architects that you, uh, perhaps did internships with when you were at SCI-Arc. Tell us about some of that. Some of those
[00:12:31] Bo Sundius: folks. Yeah. Well, it’s SCI-Arc I did a studio with Michael Rotondi and then Rodo architects and I interned with them over the summers, which was, which was.
Great experience and cart Stevens, who is a principal at, at Michael’s office at the time we all work closely on a few projects. And yeah, it was just a very thoughtful approach, a lot of hand drawing, which was very nice, very just considered of things, a certain kind of ethic to architecture and building, which was nice, certain sense of serendipity too, about starting off on a direction, not necessarily knowing what the intention is.
And then people kind of like find their own intention in it. Like there’s, there’s a con an interesting context to it where the context is not a forced. Forced one, but rather a founder discovered one, which was quite nice, which was also a unique approach to an architecture that was common in Los Angeles.
At the time in the late nineties, there was a lot of residential architecture. A lot of high architecture was occurring with MorphoSys and these, these smaller houses it was using, you know, not a lot of high-tech at the time, but, but two by four studs, drywall glass, you know, all of these kind of typical construction materials and not necessarily expensive, but you’re using them in really unique ways.
It was transforming the spatial experience to one that people were excited by.
[00:14:09] Atif Qadir: So speaking of experiences that people are excited by your first project, as an architect, wasn’t your parents’ house, which is what famous architects like Richard Meyer and me do as our first projects. Uh, so tell us about the project that you started with and how it came about.
[00:14:30] Bo Sundius: Well, we had spoken, maybe this was the Creek project, the hotel project in Miami. Yes. So a friend of mine that I had met at brown Kenny fields, he came from means and he had purchased a youth hostel in Miami. This is 2000. One, I suppose.
[00:14:51] Atif Qadir: So that’s before this latest real estate boom, where you can’t buy a house in Miami
[00:14:55] Bo Sundius: with a 10 foot pole.
Yeah, no, this is way before then this was, this was a very beat up boutique. Oh no, it wasn’t boutique. It was, it was, it was, uh, it was a very grungy youth hostel called the banana bungalow at the time. So you can imagine, you know, this is not, I am, and he bought this and then had this vision to turn it into a boutique art hotel.
And with a very limited budget, I believe the budget was like $300,000 for the
[00:15:25] Atif Qadir: whole hotel. Not just like the front
[00:15:27] Bo Sundius: entrance for the whole hotel, the aspirations and the realities were completely mix-matched, but it all made sense to 24 year olds.
[00:15:38] Atif Qadir: So it sounds
[00:15:39] Bo Sundius: like anything’s possible when you’re that young.
[00:15:42] Atif Qadir: And also, it sounds like the best, a residential house, like home design client, the ones that have those really unrealistic expectations of everything. Right.
[00:15:52] Bo Sundius: Right. But he actually, we all made it a reality, which is, which is enlightening because it’s a lesson in that. It, it, it just takes creativity. It doesn’t, you don’t have to overthink it.
He brought some friends in from New York city. I was coming in from Los Angeles. There was this question of, well, how do we do this on such a limited budget? I think there was maybe a hundred rooms to this hotel. We did decide that we will hit maybe half of. You know, and had a great pool. It was in a great location.
The bar was doing a steady business. So we would update the pool and the bar. And then how do we do the rooms and really get buzzed, turn this into an art hotel? Well, we all came to the conclusion that we should send out RFPs to our friends who were all in these different creative worlds, artists in Los Angeles, branding folks in New York, a whole group of people say, we will give you, uh, give your, uh, give us your proposal.
We’ll give you $500 budget and a plane ticket, and you can fly to Miami and you can do whatever you want inside this room. And so. People love the idea. And so we got a lot of really great people. Like Shepard, Fairey was one of them. This is before his, you know, Barack Obama poster days. There was another group that Barnstormers came out of New York.
They were graffiti artists. Um, you know, they came down and literally locked themselves in the room for two days and just graffiti it, you know, they had full protective gear and they just lived in that graffitiing and eating pizza for two days. And it was just that intense intensity that comes with youth.
And so that happened and it was so raw and we launched it at art Basel two, and it was a huge hit and yeah, it was, it was great, but it was a complete mess. You know, it was nuts. He filmed it, he filmed it. He had a film crew come in. He wanted to submit it to Sundance film festival. I think we all thought it was going to win it.
You know, this is before HDTV. So he was all very ahead of its time. But, you know, there’s a, there’s something to just doing it and not thinking too much about it, which was also really inspiring coming out of, you know, spending eight years of thinking in school and between the brown SCI-Arc. And everyone’s like, ah, you know, every move has to be so analyzed.
And you know, here we were working with artists and graphics folks and publishers and branding, and this group of folks where the timeline for their creativity is so short. It’s great work, but it’s short, it’s fast. They don’t have the luxury like architects do spending years on something. And they benefit from the fact that it can be quickly realized.
So you can really play out different ideas, really shaped these spaces. Great fun.
[00:19:00] Atif Qadir: So given that of the a hundred, a hundred rooms in the hotel, right? So you spent around $50,000 on the, the artists and I guess a little bit more because the flights to be like 75,000, 80,000, what did you do with the remaining 200,000 on the project?
Broadly speaking, what was going on a
[00:19:23] Bo Sundius: went into the bar. Um, the bar was nice, nice wood countertops. The pool got refinished. You know, the rooms got patched and painted. I mean, the reviews on Yelp at the time were either I love this place. It’s the greatest experience of my life or. It’s a total dump. I mean, it was, it was very opinions were all over the place, you know, and if you, you got it and you liked it.
Great. And if you didn’t think go to the Sagamore, you know, oddly the Sagamore opened up that same year, which was a very nice boutique hotel, um, with, you know, with like, uh, great art in it, lift and shines and you know, more halls, you know, and, but then the Miami Herald called the Creek the best, uh, boutique art hotel of that year.
So we felt quite vindicated. We had captured people’s imagination and maybe. Even Miami’s image of itself, at least circuit 2000 later on, you know, he, he sold it to a developer and I believe it was destroyed in a hurricane, which seemed fitting to all of us. Quite frankly, we all thought that was a good end to the project.
[00:20:40] Atif Qadir: Very dramatic process and a
[00:20:42] Bo Sundius: dramatic inclusion had a short life. And then, then that was that. But I also fell in love with the hotel program. You know, it was like a lot of the labor was done by the youth hostels themselves, which was crazy if there is such a low budget, you know, like one, like, so for free rent, there was this Mason from Germany and like he did this great Vineer to the bar and, you know, we had hostels painting the place and doing different work and it was quite an experience.
[00:21:16] Atif Qadir: I feel like the thing that was missing from that Sundance film festival submission was the, the last part, which would have been the destruction of the hotel with the hurricane. I feel if that was in the movie complete
[00:21:28] Bo Sundius: game changer, it was an interesting, yeah, it, I’m sure special effects that connections in Los Angeles.
We could put that together nowadays. And we wanted to revisit that.
[00:21:39] Atif Qadir: So speaking of a Los Angeles, let’s talk about the area, the neighborhood and the site for the stop, making sense. Accessory dwelling units. So for short that’s the SMS ADU.
[00:21:52] Bo Sundius: Yeah. So, I mean, you touched on the name, which was very intentional, so our practice bunch design, but I’ll step back for a second bunch design.
We’ve been, um, we’ve been in business for since about 2008 after working at Gerrity and roto and he SoCo worked for, um, the artists, Doug Aiken. For several years. And I don’t know if you’re familiar with Doug’s work, but he does a lot of installations. It’s very site-specific but a video, um, installations moving kinetic happening, music videos.
He did another project where he pulled his house apart. And when you walked up the steps, it recorded a kind of percussive beat to it as you went up the stairs so that the houses are performative. There’s a bit of Gordon, Matta Clark in, it just makes you think about your environment. So that’s where she’s coming from as well as architecture.
And so, and we formed this office bunch design, which is named after our interest in collaboration and just kind of getting out there, working with clients, working with different folks. And, um, but we were always working on projects that were smaller commercial projects or smaller residential projects.
Projects for friends, essentially, who had scraped enough money together to buy a lot in LA. This is, you know, early two thousands or right after the crash, like 2013, 12, you know, after the great recession. And so still people are finding weird triangular lots or w strange flag lots. And they’re saying, how do I do this?
So the entitlements on these lots are very tricky. The budgets are tight and it’s just coming with a lot of, a lot of context. And so they’re asking us for it. So that’s our background. We’re working on these, these unusual lots, which is exciting for us. Soccer’s from Japan, Japanese, residential architecture is full of these wonderful flag, lots and maximizing small spaces.
And they’ve got these wonderful narratives attached to it. And. They’re so inspiring with how they deal with their context and then also all the opportunities and constraints that come with it. So that was that’s our practice. And we’re still doing that instead of building, you know, $10 million houses in Malibu, we’re working on home renovations for kind of normal folks.
A lot of first time home owners are first-time people dealing with architects. And because we had done some work on our own property, we knew the fears that come with, like thinking you’re wealthy because you’ve got a hundred thousand dollars and then just like rapidly watching that diminish to zero.
You know, it’s, it’s, there’s a real sense of vertigo as that happens. It’s terrifying, you know, and like us too, like we did all of that just as we’re having children too, a lot of homeowners decide they are pregnant, which we do. So we get it. And so PO folks approach us and we like helping them out. And when they say that their budget’s tight, like we really, we try to appreciate it and make the most of it.
And so we’ve been working on these small houses in people’s backyards additions, and when the accessory dwelling unit law occurred in California in 2017, it really opened up an avenue towards kind of making this art practice of doing incredibly well thought out well-designed houses on flat land in people’s backyards.
That’s smaller under 1200 square feet. You know, people can, can hire an architect for and get a taste of really great design. So, so that’s, that’s what our practice is. And for your listeners, if they’re not familiar with ADA news and ADU law. So in California, in 2017, the state enacted a law that basically it, it takes away single family zoning flaws and allows any lot in California to be able to build an accessory dwelling unit, which is a 1200 square foot house has to have a kitchen and a bathroom.
And a bedroom gets its own address up to 1200 square feet. It can be attached to the house if it’s attached to the house and it can’t be larger than 50% of the square footage of the house. But you can put it into the garage of a suburban orange county house and, and adapt it that way. It’s a real game changer.
You know, I think the law was put into effect really with a thought towards, um, older folks. I know the ARP was a big advocate of it at the time also to address the housing crisis in California. And a lot of housing was built in the, in the, in the forties, fifties, and sixties, but really from 1970 on it’s completely dropped off.
And so many people are moving to California and there’s not housing for them. House prices have risen from that. That’s created a whole other different economy, which now kind of incentivizes a construction on the supply chain. So there there’s, there is a big movement in, in California, not to build in order to preserve home values.
And you got all these folks that are trying to move in to it creates. Uh, situation. It’s not ideal. A lot of halves, a lot of knots in a land of equality that should get addressed. And so I think Jerry Brown, particularly in 2017 said, okay, folks, you can build this house in a backyard. And what it is is interesting is it’s a real grassroots approach too.
So it does have a hard time of getting attacked by lobby group. So they don’t have like a specific developer to go against, you know, so, you know, of course there should be density built up around transit oriented design, and every time the state tries to pass a law to allow for more density to occur in those situations, it often gets attacked by local city council groups, or other members of the caucuses, um, within.
[00:28:25] Atif Qadir: Not just in California, also in New Jersey, I’m a city planning commissioner and Hoboken. And I can tell you all about that one too.
[00:28:32] Bo Sundius: So it’s just human nature. I mean, folks are trying to preserve what they’ve got in the house is a great place of value makes sense. But the result of it is not, not the medicine’s firing.
So this ADU law is a real game changer though, because it really deputizes homeowners to build a house for rent, which might affect the housing crisis or for a family member who might be having some mental health issues who really might end up being homeless. If they don’t get a little bit more love and attention, or in the, in the case of us, you know, my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and we were kind of posited with this impossible situation where he could go into full-time care and we would pay $8,000.
Or we could try to have him at our house, take care of him at night when care is expensive and then hire a caregiver and the normal kind of nine to five hours where they could take care of him. We were lucky enough to have enough equity in our house that we were able to build an ADU. And so we built an ADU in our yard for about $200,000, which was really inexpensive at the time.
And he was able to live in that him and my mom were able to be in there for a few years and we were able to take care of him. And it was, it was a great solution to a horrendous. Situation. And then, you know, he, he moved on, he think he’s passed away now, but we, we rent it and all throughout the pandemic, we had a couple there that was incredibly happy to be, you know, in a house and not in a small apartment in Los Angeles.
And we agree, we live near a park. They were so grateful. And then during the pandemic, they were great neighbors, you know, and we hung out together. They were like our pod, you know, it was like a little sense of community, which is this thing that the ADU can, can create, like get out of this single family dwelling bubble, bring some neighbors in, let them live here.
You it’s, uh, it was a great thing. And then financially it, it changes our situation too, because we have flexibility. Oftentimes a single family dwelling can be. A bit, I mean, it can be a real chain around your neck if you get under water. Right. And now this thing that you thought should be an asset is a huge problem lessons.
[00:31:09] Atif Qadir: We’re on the doorstep of right now, again,
[00:31:12] Bo Sundius: very possibly particularly with inflated values, but if you have a place to go to an outlet, like you’ve got flexibility that chains lighter around your neck, because you can move into the smaller ADU and then rent out your house or, or you, maybe you can rent the ADU out if you were using it for some other purpose and get some income.
So all of a sudden it allows for some flexibility that can, that really can help middle-class dreams come true. And I think that that’s been under a lot of pressure over the last 20 years and this kind of idea of, of what America is and with the opportunities that can have.
[00:31:52] Atif Qadir: So in this process for, for SMS, for this particular ADU, what would you say were the design influences that you, that you took on that are a part of your design process?
[00:32:06] Bo Sundius: Well, the ADU it’s a small house. It needs all of these things. Kitchen, bathroom, bedroom storage, it’s only 1200 square feet. In the case of SMS, it’s even less. It’s, it’s 800 square feet, maybe just less than a hundred square feet. It’s a small space. And you know, the question for us when we’re designing these EDU’s is always, well, how do you make a small space feel large, which is a question of, of cognition, right?
Of awareness of how you see things and how you perceive things. Now,
[00:32:42] Atif Qadir: the construction of cognition, that makes a lot
[00:32:44] Bo Sundius: of sense, right? And. You know how we experienced space, humans, any, any kind of thing, go back to hunter gatherer times it’s like threat assessment. Like how much room do I have to run? Like, we’re always, we’re looking towards the quantity of things.
We’re looking at the size of things. So when you walk into a room, you look towards the corners, whether you are recognizing us or not, you’re looking towards where wall meatball or wall meets ceiling. You’re, you’re trying to see what kind of space you’re in. Right. Maybe you’re looking for, when I go into a restaurant, I always sit with my, you know, facing the doorway, you know, like I’m not, but like, you know, I want to know.
So, you know, we’re always making these decisions, whether, whether we know it or not, That’s our profusing space, but what I also described as a box, and that is how most houses are built. They’re their, their boxes, the California Buffalo is a series of boxes with the rooms being, you know, 14 by 14. You know, it’s not really a very wonderful space that we’re talking about.
And so if you apply that to a smaller house, 800 square feet, it really doesn’t work. I mean, I think when you apply those rules to a normal house, it’s how you end up with McMansions that only feel comfortable when they’re 5,000 square feet. The truth is, is this, if you change the nature of how we build these spaces, right?
And if you really take a more inside out approach, recast, the role of architect is as someone maybe who starts from the inside looking out. Right. Of course we want a beautiful building, but we, we think about the volume of what we’re thinking about. Maybe before we think about the object itself. Form follows function.
The function here is the volume that we’re making and the feeling that you feel when you’re in that volume. So how that translates to a small ADU for instance, is, you know, don’t make corners. Cause that’s how we read space, erase corners, try to put a clearer story window up against where the ceiling is and where the wall meets.
And you see this in some of the great parts, you know, scarf, Carlos Scarpa does it. And in some of these famous museum and in Florence, faulted ceilings don’t ever do flat ceilings, always do vaulted ceilings. You know, just give that sense of release so that you don’t feel like you’re in a box. If this house, the ADU is often in a backyard, if this house is, you know, up against the property line poet a little bit off the property line, 10, 15 feet so that you have a bit of room and then make huge open.
To that property line so that the, the space that side yard setback space is now a courtyard. And it’s part of the living function of, of the program house. It’s an extension to the living room, or just have huge windows to a wall that wall is, you know, can have, can be painted. It can be, have vines on it.
It can, you know, receive light in a certain way. You can do all kinds of things, just break free from this kind of this very cellular arrangement that most American residential architecture is, is built upon.
[00:36:08] Atif Qadir: So it sounds like a few things that you have at your disposal are layout, light, lighten the air and the ability to create these small, interesting spaces in and around where you actually lay out the.
[00:36:23] Bo Sundius: Yes. Yeah. And the more tension that you can bring in, as it goes back to the home on a lake fishing experience, you know, the more tension that you can create in these relationships, the better like a courtyard space tucked up in the corner, it’s got your barbecue and your chimney and those things in super activated.
And, you know, it’s lit up that that’s going to provide a certain sense of life, intention that works, or, you know, skylights that are oriented towards the sun in a certain way that maybe one room is capturing morning light. And another one is capturing the setting sun in the afternoon. The light is reflecting off a certain color.
It opens up. It creates kind of a Pantheon of, of, of different experiences throughout the day. It’s going to make your experience in that space feel brighter because it’s just that your experience is changing and adapting as the, as the sun moves across. So these are these opportunities that, you know, any architect can do in any space, but it’s particularly poignant when it’s in one of these smaller living units, where typically during the pandemic, people are not only sleeping there, but also living and working all day long.
People are spending a lot of time in a 700 square foot space. But when you do these things, it changes how you interact with your space.
[00:37:48] Atif Qadir: Interesting. So then while you are, uh, considering all of these options, tell us about the typical design process that you have as a firm and how you went about designing this specific project.
[00:38:03] Bo Sundius: Well, for this one, You know, we try to have fun in our projects that is an architect or any kind of creative individual. That blank sheet of paper is a terrifying thing. You know? Like, how do you start is? And so sitting around thinking about that, it was like, well, the issue here is how do you make something small field big?
Well, are there examples of that? And then it’s like David Byrne and his like big suit. He’s a skinny guy comes out in that suit. Right. He’s larger than life. Like he moves, he shakes all of a sudden his proportions, his dimensions take on this whole other life because of this separation of suit and body.
Right. And it’s, it’s, it’s a wonderful thing. So it’s like, well, I mean, this is essentially what we’re trying to do as, as a design firm, how do you translate David Burns stopped making sense into architecture and it was okay. Well, you know, for him, the suit is separate from his body. He’s got this armature between him and the jacket.
All of a sudden everything gets loosened up for a house. You know, it’s the relationship between the walls and the ceiling. If we pull the ceiling in the roof, away from the walls, we wrap everything with a clear story windows, right? All of a sudden you start all this volume apart. This idea of what a home is.
You know, it’s kind of very house-y shape. You start pulling that apart. All of a sudden everything gets looser for things to happen in it. And so that was the starting of this, of this design. And so it was literally like on one screen of two monitors when I work one stream and watching that video play over and over again, and then I’m modeling and sketch up and drawing and trying to like figure this thing out.
It’s a very fun experience. And I think it, it actually works, you know, without overthinking things too much, if you kind of attack something with a direct intention, it’s amazing that you can actually get it to happen. And so you’re, you, you, you desire for an effect and you do all of this work to try to make that effect happen.
And then lo and behold people are in that space. And it happens to them, right? They’re like this can’t be 750 square feet. This must be bigger. Like my apartments
[00:40:32] Atif Qadir: people. That’s what people would say
[00:40:34] Bo Sundius: when they came in all the time, my apartment 700 square feet. There’s no way this is 700. And it’s like, no, it is.
[00:40:42] Atif Qadir: And so for our listeners who may not be aware of David Byrne as lead singer of the talking heads, so feel free to search that and see that video that was Bose and special. What was the name of the
[00:40:53] Bo Sundius: song? Stop making sense. He did a whole is 1984. He did. He’s a musician. He’s a performance artist.
Ironically, he was a wristy architecture student dropout. Um, so there’s, you know, there’s that love as well. And um, I mean, a lot of the talking heads stories are about houses and urbanism. Burning down the house, you know, is one, we haven’t quite made that ADU yet, but there, but there is this kind of tongue-in-cheek interest in all of these things and he’s serious in it.
And then that, that, uh, that performance is quite good. I, if, if you haven’t seen it, dig it up on YouTube. It’s good.
[00:41:39] Atif Qadir: There it is.
I’m going to pause here to let our listeners know about the sponsors of the American building podcast. Redis is a technology enabled company, intelligently connecting real estate developers with the a hundred billion dollars of public financing that’s given out every year in the United States. The company collects curates and leverages big data, combining it with the expertise of its in-house team of real estate industry.
There’s recently, recently joined forces with the New York city economic development corporation, which is one of the largest incentive agencies in the country. Through this relationship, Redis will deepen its value proposition for the small to medium-sized developers. It serves in New York and beyond find out more at dot us.
Michael Graves, architecture and design is a full service design firm based in New Jersey, founded by Michael Graves. One of the most iconic architects of the 20th century. It has grown to do work across regions across asset classes and across project sizes. That includes everything from the handsome watch I’m wearing right now to the stunning, uh, Nial Cornish, uh, St.
Regis hotel in Cairo. Learn more about the firm and how it firstname.lastname@example.org. So the building industry. Unlike say automobiles and aviation as long focused on and celebrated individualization, not standardization. So, I mean, you literally can just look at anyone that’s won a Pritzker prize.
So I know you have hot takes on this, so let’s go at it though. What are your thoughts?
[00:43:25] Bo Sundius: Well, we, you know, architects do have this, uh, desire to make new. Um, of course it’s a profession that’s been in operation since the beginning of time making shelter for one and others. And we have to follow a certain kind of rules of structure and, you know, certain human dimensions, glass, and floors and structure, things that we need in order to live in as well as relationships with different programmings.
But we do have this desire to reinvent the wheel every single time that we approach a project, which I think is, is great for certain programs that are asking for that. Like, you know, Frank Gary’s Bilbao, Guggenheim, you know, Frank sites, Guggenheim, you know, institution. Institutional work, academic work competitions, all of this really wonderful, but for housing, for instance, we’ve kind of, we have these, these designs that are very specific to a certain group of people that can afford it and have the time and energy to build it.
Often they’re quite large and actually kind of miscues in other ways, let’s say environmental ways or just kind of, you know, or, you know, taking up a lot of room that more people could, could be occupying. And while we’re busy as architects kind of doing that, we have developers who are coming in and really giving us, you know, the cookie cutter development.
Everything’s the same one set of rules, learns nothing from what architects have to say. And yet architects are also learning nothing from what the developers have to say. I think that for the better, good of humanity. We could probably find a place in the middle where architects could, you know, this is something that we try to do is kind of developing rules for how to make smaller spaces, feel larger, know everyone out there please falter ceilings, um, you know, build clear story windows.
Like there are certain kind of rules. I mean, CORBA was right. You know, like he had he’s onto something. Like there are certain things that you can do that will, will break us free from a lot of these kind of cookie cutter buildings. The massive humanity are living in. And when, when normal folks can experience what a good space feels like, right.
We’ll be happier as a people, you know, people will be
[00:46:04] Atif Qadir: more angry, argumentative.
[00:46:07] Bo Sundius: Exactly. You know, like they will, they’ll just be a bit freer. And if you can give people flexibility to in their lives, More easily work from home or adapt to financial situations. Pandemics are great recessions or loved ones getting sick.
Just time itself creates a change that requires a more adaptive residential architecture than what the developers or what a lot of architects are providing for normal folks. Especially since people now do live in their homes for much longer, that time where you would live in five or six cities over your course of life is, is not our present time.
You know, we will probably live and, you know, maybe one or two or three cities in the course of our life, people will stay in their homes longer and they will experience the cycle of life. And so these houses need to be adaptive to it, any use a great way of doing it, but also as you do these things, architects could actively engage in this.
So like one thing for us, we, we did, uh, we did a predesigned ADU where we basically designed a few different designs. It’s not prefab, it’s not. A kit of parts. Think some of these things are, are, are better studied in school or discussed or kind of laid out in on spreadsheets. And then in the actuality, I think that, you know, you want to just give people kind of an idea of what the design is because they’re not equipped to visualize these things we are, and they can see it in their life.
I like that they can react to it, but you can. So we have these predesigned options and then we understand we built them through an understand costs to those things. And so when people engage with an architect, it’s not a huge mystery as to what they’re going to get. The cost conversation can be realistic from the start.
It’s not this mythical thing that keeps changing, thereby making the homeowners nervous, but we try to kind of meet them halfway through these pre pre-designed options for these 80 years.
[00:48:20] Atif Qadir: So the idea of. Prefabrication. And some sensitization has been around for almost a century, like with the in the 1920s.
And the idea is that. There are certain dynamics at play in our industry in terms of the strength of labor unions, in terms of the relative, relatively low costs of materials and labor versus sister industries, and the incredible coordinating off of entitlements and approvals at the level of city planning, commissions I’m in commissions and city councils at for example, 554 different municipalities in the state of New Jersey alone.
So all of the things that prevented the wholesale acceptance of different processes, like you talked to. That’s it over the past five to 10 years, there’s been a mode of innovation in our industry. That’s tied to venture capital, which itself requires a cordoning off of intellectual property and hockey stick hypergrowth at perhaps the expense of actual profitability or sustainability.
So what are your thoughts about the sustainability of venture capital driven innovation say in the design construction part of our industry versus things that might be more altruistic and more humanist?
[00:49:44] Bo Sundius: Sure. Well, the kit of parts idea has been out there and I think there are cases where it can be.
However, you know, when we experience, when we experimented with one of our smaller ATU designs, only 400 square feet, um, it has nice vaulted ceilings skylight in the middle wraparound clerestory windows. Honestly, when you see this thing framed, it looks, it feels like being in a high or a balloon. It’s, it’s the most kind of like uplifting kind of gravity defying 400 square feet, garage size ADU.
You can think of while you’re inside, which, which is the goal. You know, you want this feeling to feel like a light tent, right? Cause you’re gonna spend a lot of time in it. But if you try to prefab that, you know, no panel can be more than 14 feet long because it has to go underneath the freeway overpass.
[00:50:39] Atif Qadir: Right. In terms of the access, because.
[00:50:42] Bo Sundius: That’s to go on a truck and that truck has to go on a freeway and it’s going to go underneath an overpass and that is 14 feet. So it just brings in a whole new level of constraints that, that I, as architect don’t really want to deal with. Cause I feel like we have enough constraints as it is in other ways.
Plus in all of the prefab companies that looked at the cost per square foot at the end of the day is, is not beating like typical type five construction. And there is something, you know, the size of a tatami. Right in Japan. So size, which you talked about is the size of one person sleeping. So if you go into a seven to Tommy mat room in Japan, technically it’s a house for seven, right?
That’s, that’s the ancient way of thinking about things. Same as true for a two by four, a two by four is size where a guy can hold it in one hand and have a nail gun or a hammer in the other and put it into place. She didn’t dry wall four by eight, same, same thing. So a lot of your type five construction already has been designed as industrial design to this scale of, of prefabrication by humans.
The day that machines build our houses, it might be a completely different story. And maybe we’ll be there, you know, in our kids’ lifetime, but we’re not quite there yet. So we’ve been pushing the kind of predesign without prefabrication. You know, there has been a lot of venture capital money going into years in California in particular.
I think I’m going to create a company called we home world.
[00:52:24] Atif Qadir: So when you
[00:52:26] Bo Sundius: were a billion dollars,
[00:52:28] Atif Qadir: you should call, call SoftBank because they’re really good at picking winners that there they’re definitely, they’re definitely your
[00:52:33] Bo Sundius: VC. Exactly. You know, I think a lot with a lot of prefab what’s great is, is that you, the nature of prefabricated housing, you can itemize the costs.
You can itemize the costs in terms of factory space, in terms of speed, mechanization, materials, and labor, and all of that stuff out lies onto a spreadsheet. That’s really great. And people create these performance and get really excited about this kind of growth and that hockey stick projection that you can imagine.
But the truth on the ground is, is. Unless you’re Eli Brode and you are buying up, you know, thousands of acres and just banging these things out, which by the way, he’s been doing to great financial success, his
[00:53:23] Atif Qadir: company’s KB home
[00:53:24] Bo Sundius: he’s KB homes. Yeah. And one of the, one of the wealthiest men in Los Angeles, but it’s been done.
So I think that the, the, the dream of the prefabrication looks great on, on spreadsheets. But the truth of it is, is that unless you, you can actually do it and control it as one individual, when you actually get into discussing things, mano, a mano with homeowner. Yeah. As soon as, as soon as KB homes sells those homes, there’s, there’s not one owner of this development.
There’s 10,000 owners, and now you’re dealing with 10,000 different individuals, which is what an ADU homeowner is. You’re dealing with one individual with one backyard. Their home is their castle. They come with a lot of opinions and desires on these things. It is going to be very difficult, I think for a, kind of a venture capital model to fit into this highly personal, highly fragmented, highly fragmented environment with layers and layers and layers of government oversight, both from the construction standpoint and the building departments, not to mention the planning and zoning constraints, all the different overlays that occur in different neighborhoods.
It’s very difficult. And so I think that the advantage of it is, is that it is fragmented. I think this is how we actually are ending up with density in cities, where there has been a push by the homeowning populace to sometimes prevent it. This is how you can get density is through this kind of grassroots.
And so that’s why we, as a small company are fully embracing it. I think we’re embracing an environment that a lot of architects shy away from the laws are changing rapidly. A lot of architects like to sit on the sidelines and kind of wait for the dust to settle. You know, what we’re finding is, is that we’re kind of right there.
And with the developers who are seeing a law change and then being like, oh wow, this law changed. What does that mean for the urban fabric within the city? This is going to have Matic repercussions. Our built environment looks the way it does because of tasks. Um, stoning laws, not because of architects.
Sorry, sorry. I mean, if you go to London, storefronts are very narrow. Buildings are really deep because back in the 15 hundreds, they were taxed based upon their storefront EJ. And so they created very narrow lots. They didn’t want to get taxed. Same is true for Holcim and city in Vietnam. Same for Kyoto.
You know, Los Angeles looks the way it does because of zoning tax reasons and yeah. Yeah. And carving up neighborhoods at an urban scale. For sure. So I say as architects, we should be engaging how things really happen, economies that affect people’s lives, how people live their lives, how they live it through time, how their life changes in terms of their needs and act kind of immediately.
Right. Like when these things happen and not sit on the sidelines, I think that goes for younger architects too. Coming out of school, go to a big office, get experienced. That’s great boutique office. That’s fine. But you can also cut your teeth on small residential projects. It’s, it’s, you know, that the client will tell you whether they like it or not.
And there’s a very good chance that it’s going to be better and you know, more uplifting and more intelligent than, and then a lot of the kind of cookie cutter stuff that we’re living in.
[00:57:05] Atif Qadir: You could also skip college altogether and just start designing arms and making a startup with a Peter. Teal’s a fellowship for people that just
[00:57:14] Bo Sundius: don’t go to college.
I mean, you might be saying that in jest, but actually the savviest developers I ever met bought homes at 18 and never went to college and they are the smartest ones because when they walk down the street, they have this intuitive. Way of seeing the streets, seeing the hole that exists in that street, whether it, maybe it’s a physical hole, it’s a vacant lot, or it’s an underutilized lot.
And they know the program that goes into it, but they have a sense of the streets that I think that, that architects and urban planners could really get used to. I think Jane Jacobs probably learn more from the streets than she did in school. And I can’t ask her, but there’s a lot to be said with hands-on application of things.
[00:58:04] Atif Qadir: she probably, she could handle herself on the street. I think she could be, be just fine. The, uh, so one of the things that you mentioned we talked about is 3d printing. So 3d printing home. It’s a thing. If you, if listeners are not aware, uh, and the modes of doing that is a liquid concrete and the extreme challenge in this industry is how do you produce nozzles and equipment that don’t break apart over a short amount of time because of the incredibly, the weight of liquid concrete, and also all of the, the chemicals that are part of that process, uh, corroding, the inside of any such infrastructure.
That’s a big problem. Another problem is, uh, the ability to actually scale it and let the, uh, let that become something that’s repeatable many, many, many times over. So. One such company that I’ve met, uh, raised, uh, two rounds of financing recently. So a total of $385 million. And assuming the average cost of a thousand square foot home, which is still a very generous size thousand square foot home in the United States is 125,000.
They could have built almost, or their investors could have built, uh, around 3,100 homes for that amount of money, which is say a house of four. Now you’re saying you could have housed 12, 13, maybe 14,000 people, uh, for that same amount of money. What are your feelings about this mode of the goopy concrete building and layers and layers and layers?
Is this a thing is ever going to be living in concrete, homesick.
[00:59:40] Bo Sundius: Not in Los Angeles
[00:59:42] Atif Qadir: because of seismic requirements.
[00:59:45] Bo Sundius: No, probably just access of concrete and things like that. I mean, I think in different cultures where there’s more concrete than wood, I think that that’s probably a wonderful opportunity to do it.
I think that those building technologies are really exciting. You know, the fewer trades that you get on a site, you know, the, the less expensive the construction will be. You know, I think you mentioned maybe one of those issues is that, you know, the developer could build 31,000 units. I mean, that’s the KB homes, Eli Brode approach to things like that.
You have one thinking entity designing for many is great. Unless that thinking entity, you know, cuts corners makes for crummy spaces, you know, not
[01:00:30] Atif Qadir: enough light, not enough clerestory
[01:00:32] Bo Sundius: windows. Right, right. You know, it doesn’t allow for enough chance or serendipity for kind of life to get in. So you get, you know, projects essentially, or really cookie cutter stuff done.
The problem with that top down approach is, is that it doesn’t let the life kind of seat back on in, in concrete of course has an even more difficult time to be adapted than stick frame. But certainly, well, concrete manufacturing is actually really difficult on the environment, but I mean, all of these things need to be kind of like played in there, pros and cons to kind of think about that from an environmental standpoint, but you know, the most climate conscious.
Move that you can do is to kind of, you know, keep adapting what you have to make it more and more efficient, you know, stay with the times, but then also not feel like you need to tear the thing down every 10 years in order to start over, you know? So, you know, you make, do with what you have, you adapted over time.
You allow for a flexible construction type that allows for that. I think it’s going to be something, something in there. Yeah. The financials of that I think are great. Cause they, you know, they, they understand the time it takes to print a house. They know that they can print, you know, you know, one house takes two nozzles and you know, they can map all of that.
It’s very understood. They feel like the risks are all mitigated by a financial standpoint. But I think the, the real risks are the ones that. Pruitt IGO X experienced with housing projects in Chicago, in the seventies. And then you build this thing with these certain kind of intentions and it works for a time, but through its lack of adaptability, lack of sense of humanity time, isn’t, isn’t kind to these things.
[01:02:31] Atif Qadir: Correct. And I think there’s also this idea of the slippery slope that 3d printing can go down, which is to say that it becomes an art piece. And it’s this idea of how beautiful, how unusual, how unique give my 3d printing houses. And before you know, it, it’s on the cover of dwell magazine. It’s being furnished by design, within reach.
And then, you know, like it’s all over after that all over
[01:02:56] Bo Sundius: well, that that kind of fluidity like creates a certain kind of aesthetic that’s attached to. I mean, we’ve been, I mean, history repeats itself. I mean, not art nouveau, you know? And then after art nouveau, who did we have, we had core boozier and his machines for living and, you know, Lois and all of these guys, ornament is crime.
You know, we constantly go back and forth. I mean, I’m interested to seeing if, you know, Christopher Alexander has kind of embraced more in these next few years after being kind of out of fashion all through the nineties and early odds, you know, if this kind of more program oriented site-specific contextualization is something that we, that we want to pursue within academic discourse.
I hope I hope.
[01:03:45] Atif Qadir: You know, so Bo I’m curious, you’re a millennial like me. And for many of our age cohort, the frames of reference over of our adult life are epic booms and busts. So, uh, we started with started college with the.com bubble. Uh, our working, uh, working experience and working career, uh, was book-ended on one side by the global financial crisis.
And now as many of us are entering the prime earning parts of our life, it’s the, the COVID debacle. And I think anyone with, uh, some sense of sense can see that there is another crash. That’s a foot. I think, uh, the past six weeks have been the worst for apple and Amazon stock and the history of both businesses.
And, uh, we are probably on the doorstep of I’m going to call it. He, I, by our bubble, I, in terms of investors buying up single family homes. So. What is your take on where our industry should go from these, uh, these kind of experiences that have a huge impact, uh, on our industry and particularly, uh, residential homes.
What do you think a way forward is for our industry through these collapses and the next ones to come?
[01:05:00] Bo Sundius: Well, I mean, right now the stock market is, is going through a really difficult period. And it’s a loss, I don’t know what 15, 20% in the last three months or something like that, I don’t know. Okay.
[01:05:11] Atif Qadir: I took all my money.
All my money is now in treasuries. Again, I did it. It’s all over. Well, you know, our Coinbase
[01:05:17] Bo Sundius: stock we’re done for, you know, for those people that are looking at their retirement and needing to pull that money out. Now it’s a complete disaster. So for one group of people, it’s a disaster for another group of people who have been sitting on cash cash that they have been accumulating all during the pandemic, you know, possibly fortified through.
PPP loans and kind of other government machinations over the last two years are now buying it because it’s inexpensive. My point is, is that it’s, it’s, it’s terrible for one group of people and it’s great for another group of people and that relationship just flips back and forth. That’s how I feel. And so I feel like the American system right now is actually built towards instability.
I think it’s hard baked into the capitalist system. You know, it’s you make money, not, not by it going up. You, you make money just through change. All things need to do is change. The worst thing that could happen for the American psyche is for things to stay the same. That’s probably why we, why we, you know, elect a Democrat and Republican and a Democrat and Republican.
Like we, we are in love with this change. We like this. And so the booms and busts. I think are a more modern phenomenon, maybe happening faster because of social media and because of just the way that things are, the speed of life, but they’re heart baked into the system. And so I think as, uh, as architects and as planners and as thinkers, because actually people don’t think like we do right.
We think differently we are our, our schooling, or just the way that we look to things is different. It’s, it’s, it’s over a longer period of time. It’s a little bit more trajectory to it, or it’s a little bit more opportunistic. Like those developers, I was talking about that hole in the street. It’s flexible like that.
And what, what we need to do as planners is just allow everybody to be like that, you know, so that they can handle these booms and busts. Like I also am getting older, you know? And like that time of thinking, it’s like, everything’s going to work exactly how it does actually age presents this thing where it’s like, actually it doesn’t things don’t stay the same.
Everything is always changing. And so whether it’s changing to your benefit or whether it’s changing to your deaf detriment, the only thing that really matters is that things are changing. And so you want to create a built environment that adapts to change, which, which is why I liked this kind of grassroots ADU approach, you know, like one create flexibility in something that’s pretty inflexible single-family house.
Hey, create flexibility in something that’s inflexible like offices in the work environment, right. The list goes on and on and on. That flexibility is going to create change on its own. Some people are going to think it’s great. Other people is going to think it’s terrible. Certainly information disinformation, all of that.
As part of this thing, I think community actually physical community, creating our built environment for, to allow people to be flexible, but within a community is really great, you know, get people again. I think, I think that the making dense and making more flexible with single family, these kinds of like little enclaves that we, we live in, right.
That we, that we don’t let people in to, you know, that are kind of a bit opaque. I think the more that we break that open and let life occur, every house is a little city. Right. And we, we let all of that happen. We all socialize more. I think that will, that will be great.
[01:09:12] Atif Qadir: So, uh, listeners, you heard it here from architect both Sunday, the way forward for our country is through EDU’s.
So find one, build one, get one in your backyard, do it rent one, whatever. You can get an ADU.
[01:09:26] Bo Sundius: I mean, it’s true, but I mean, the ADU two is incredibly limiting. I mean, caveat like that requires you to own a home, which is increasingly possible and completely off the charts for so many people. Like the ADU is this suggestion is only working for a really narrow demographic.
That’s incredibly lucky, possibly entitled, you know, And has probably a huge amount of history helping him. I can only hope that these folks that aren’t have these opportunities can actually allow it to happen for other people. Maybe government can actually kind of create these kind of open playgrounds for people to develop.
I don’t know. Maybe there’s a way of making them vertically or even more dense than they are right now, but the ADU is a great thing for what it, for what it is, but it’s not going to solve the housing crisis. But I do hope that the people that get to live in well-designed ones, you know, it’s a bit of a, a game changer in terms of understanding how, how to live in space.
It’s a bit different than, than what they’re used to. Maybe living with a little bit less space, living with a little bit less stuff, living in a denser environment, being able to walk to places. Um, creating flexibility for family members multi-generational living. I mean, that, that it’s illegal in a single family house to, to have two kitchens is just, it’s just nuts.
Like how do we care for our adults? If, you know, if, if only one kitchens allowed now you create two kitchens and now you, you will feel, you’ll be okay to let your mother-in-law live with you because she’s not came with you. You know what I mean? It’s a big, it’s a big difference. And it’s these kind of smaller steps that hopefully will make us a more communal and, you know, flexible culture.
[01:11:20] Atif Qadir: So on that note, thank you so much for joining us today on the American building podcast
[01:11:25] Bo Sundius: before. Thank you very much for having me. Hopefully that was a great conversation for all of your listeners a little bit, a little bit everywhere, but if you want to see our work, you know, check it out on our website.
[01:11:36] Atif Qadir: Absolutely. And we’ll share links for all of that, with the show notes. So listeners, if you want to hear the behind the scenes stories of how iconic buildings in our country were designed and built subscribe to this podcast on Spotify, iTunes, Google, anchor, Stitcher, or wherever you like to listen, to rate and review us on iTunes to help us reach a wider audience and follow us on Instagram at American building podcast, we all know real estate is a tough industry to make it.
So how can professionals stand out and make a name for themselves in today’s world? Hear from me, the team of Michael Graves and Redis, and many of our spectacular. Like Bo on what we did to make it where we are, grab our exclusive guide seven tips on how to stand out in your email@example.com.
Finally, we live in the richest country in the history of humankind. We must reach out beyond the boundaries that we see and the boundaries that we create in order to help build homes and communities today. Beau and I have made donations to the Alzheimer’s foundation, which advocates for the priorities, for those, with this condition, I encourage you, our listeners to support their worthwhile work as well.
My name is Arthur Carter, and this has been American building.
By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: MGA&D, 341 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ, 08540, US, http://www.michaelgraves.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.