Prefab-Interiority: Design Principles for a Sensuous Prefab Practice

Marie Frier, Anna Marie Fisker, Poul Henning Kirkegaard

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Despite the global, and still increasing, need for cost effective homes, the envisioned potential of technically utilizing prefab processes as a means of meeting this need has remained a challenging matter. Especially sensuous spatial qualities are often lost within the technical, economic, and practical realm of prefabrication, leaving the produced houses as monotonous box-like constructions rather than inhabitable homes. But what are the sensuous qualities actually spatially defining a home, and how to formulate design principles for developing and revealing these qualities within prefab practice?

It is our hypothesis that the inhabitant’s experience of home is dependent on sensuous impressions of interiority, spatial detailing at the threshold of furniture, such as an embracing window seat. However, within the practical realm of prefabrication, the revelation of such sensuous spatial qualities is significantly dependent on our constructive ability to economically and production-technically join building elements. Consequently this paper explores the potential for developing interiority as a theory and design principle for transforming constructive challenges within prefab practice into sensuous spatial qualities in the future prefab home. In this matter the paper presents a specific case study, a practice-oriented research project concerning the development of a novel prefab building system and housing series, done in cooperation with the Danish prefab housing manufacturer Boel Living A/S. As a research result the paper suggests a positioning of interiority as a theory and design principle for developing a sensuous prefab practice.

TidsskriftDesign Principles and Practices: An International Journal
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)415-426
StatusUdgivet - 24 maj 2010


  • Prefabricated Housing
  • Interiority
  • Sensuous Spatial Qualities
  • Construction Technique
  • Joints