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Manufacturing Affordability: Innovations in Housing Production and Design

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Manufacturing Affordability: Innovations in Housing Production and Design

In this interdisciplinary option studio, we challenge students to examine the future of manufactured housing as an innovative solution to rural housing affordability in Iowa, and across the country. This studio is interdisciplinary, bringing together students interested in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, and homeless and affordable housing policy. Students will research the need for affordable housing in rural Iowa, innovative and emerging ideas in the design and production of manufactured housing, funding available to develop affordable housing, and regulatory and land-use barriers to manufactured housing production. Students will then produce a set of design and policy recommendations for affordable, manufactured housing development. The studio offers participants the unique opportunity to examine the problem of rural housing insecurity from both design and policy perspectives, as well as innovations in manufactured housing. In addition to the studio project, students will travel on a (fully funded) field study to examine innovative manufactured housing.
-Document the need for affordable and supportive housing in rural Iowa with mapping, demographic analysis, and/or survey research;
-Understand the role manufactured housing plays within rural communities
-Develop case studies on the design issues facing affordable rural housing
- Devise outreach strategies to help local governments and the public understand the costs/benefits of manufactured housing
-Create a webpage with resources for affordable manufactured housing;
-Identify a series of site level interventions within rural communities
-Research available funding resources and develop a development budget;
-Produce a series of detailed design interventions incorporating best practices in affordable manufactured housing design
-Investigate design strategies for equitable siting of manufactured housing
-Develop urban design policies for integrating manufactured housing into the fabric existing communities

Course Credit
  • 6
Iowa State University Innovate @ Iowa State
  • Civic Innovation
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
  • No Poverty
  • Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Reduced Inequalities
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Responsible Consumption and Production
Upload relevant imagery (prior student works or site pictures)


Will this course be cross-listed?


Days/times for the course

MWF 1-5pm

Field trip locations

California, Indiana

Field trip schedule


Suggested course fee


Teaching faculty name(s)

Daniel Kuhlmann, Carlton Basmajian

All ISU Majors
  • Seniors and graduate students
Maximum enrollment