Panel discussion opens Cleveland Institute of Art exhibit showcasing green, affordable housing designs

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 10/18/2006 - 13:37.
11/03/2006 - 17:15
11/03/2006 - 19:00

An eye-opening exhibition on environmentally friendly design of affordable housing opens with a panel discussion at The Cleveland Institute of Art at 5:15 p.m. on Nov. 3, 2006. The traveling exhibition, HOME House Project: The Future of Affordable Housing, will be on view in the Institute’s Reinberger Galleries from November 3 – December 22, 2006. See images from the exhibition at the Weisman Museum here. Read On:

The exhibition began in 2003 with a competition sponsored by the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Designers and architects were challenged to create appealing, affordable single-family house designs using Habitat for Humanity house plans as a starting point. The 440 entries originally submitted by designers from the U.S. and six countries were judged on their design appeal, affordability and use of environmentally sustainable materials, technologies and techniques.

HOME House Project is traveling the country, sparking discussions on the shortage of quality affordable housing, the demand for houses that conserve energy and incorporate environmentally friendly building materials, and the power of innovative design to bridge these two priorities. The Cleveland Institute of Art is known nationally for its Bachelor of Fine Arts programs in industrial design and interior design.

The exhibit’s senior curator, David J. Brown, will participate in the Nov. 3 panel discussion along with local environmentalists and green building advocates Deirdre R. McDonnell, president, Atlas Architectural Services; David Beach, executive director, EcoCity Cleveland; William A. Doty, Jr., co-founder, Doty & Miller Architects; James A. Larue, consultant, National Center for Healthy Housing; Holly Harlan, founder and president, Entrepreneurs for Sustainability; and Chris Warren, president, ShoreBank Enterprise Cleveland. Bruce Checefsky, director of the Institute’s Reinberger Galleries, will be moderator. The panel discussion is open to the public. A reception follows.

Mr. Brown’s book, “The HOME House Project: The Future of Affordable Housing” (MIT Press, 2005), chronicles the design initiative that led to this exhibit and challenges readers to imagine housing that is affordable and healthful for families and for the planet.

“So soon after Cleveland was again ranked the poorest big city in the nation by the U.S. Census Bureau, our hope is this collection of award-winning house designs will capture the interest of city planners, builders, architects, community development activists, advocates for the poor, environmentalists and any other residents concerned about the critical issues of affordable housing, environmental sustainability and good, community-oriented design,” Checefsky said.

To add dimension to the experience of viewing this display of designs, The Reinberger Galleries will include: a 14’ by 14’ cut-away of a room and a 16’ by 16’ section of a roof, both constructed by a local builder with peel-back areas revealing the “green” building materials used; books; and samples of non-toxic building materials including milk-based paint, bamboo flooring and high-density particle board made from wheat with no formaldehyde added. The construction samples and products added for the Cleveland viewing of HOME House Project are all suited to the extremes of Cleveland weather.

A 60-minute film, “The Rural Studio,” will show on a continuous loop during the Reinberger exhibition. This film chronicles the work of the late Samuel Mockbee, a MacArthur Fellow and Auburn University professor who, with his students, designed and constructed environmentally sensitive and affordable homes in impoverished Hale County, Alabama. Mockbee’s vision was that architecture could be a social art form that could raise the human spirit.

The Cleveland Institute of Art’s showing of HOME House Project is sponsored by the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, Sky Bank, Neighborhood Progress, Inc., Enterprise Community Partners, Cleveland Housing Network, Cleveland Neighborhood Development Coalition, Cleveland Public Art, EcoCity Cleveland, Entrepreneurs for Sustainability, Habitat for Humanity, ParkWorks, and ShoreBank Enterprise Cleveland. A second panel discussion sponsored by Neighborhood Progress, Inc and its partner organizations later in November will feature professionals currently engaged in affordable housing development and will answer the question: how can Cleveland achieve inspired and sustainable design in the development of affordable housing? This event will kick-off a year-long series of public dialogues that will focus on current and future activities underway to create what Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has called “Neighborhoods of Choice” in Cleveland.

The Reinberger Galleries are located at 11141 East Boulevard. For directions or other information, please visit or call 216-421-7407.

The Cleveland Institute of Art is an independent college of art and design committed to leadership and vision in all forms of visual arts education. The Institute makes enduring contributions to education and extends its programs to the public through gallery exhibits, lectures, a continuing education program and The Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, an art and independent film program. The Cleveland Institute of Art…Making Art Work.


Cleveland Institute of Art
11141 East Boulevard Reinberger Galleries
Cleveland, OH
United States