to move a home

a Dutch building firm recently announced what they defined as a new concept in housing, i.e., they produce complete housing for young ‘start-ups’ that can be relocated if needed. Pre-fabricated in 2 sections and ‘in situ’ placed on top of each other it can be transported elsewhere since it answers the assumed need to take house and home with you.
This is something of a paradox; if we regard a house as the adaptation of space to human needs, to an entity linked to place and time; how can we simply move this to another location; let alone the practical issues concerning permits, infrastructure etc.? Architecture, in the words of Peter Eisenman, is the record of a process, not the end result of a process. That implies that a new situation in one’s life needs a new ‘architecture’; a new sphere, a new environment.
A product like this is process innovation, not the more important product innovation. It provides no answer to the necessary need of providing the framework for housing; instead it maintains the current traditional way of providing housing by the same parties involved for decades now. It remains the core-business of the building industry instead of the core-business of the inhabitant.
Prefabrication is a constructive, innovative and flexible way of providing a sustainable framework for individual housing. It should, however, stick to the structures facilitating further personalization. If/when we move, we move a home, not a house.