Week 17: Micro-Enterprise Design Charrette

Each morning the cleaning person at the Miami Lakes TownePlace Suites must wonder what exactly is taking place in Room 305. Over the few days Jennifer and I have set up a temporary office and model-making studio in the living room of our two-bedroom extended-stay hotel suite. There are X-acto knives everywhere. Foam tiny models take up every horizontal surface in the space. The ottoman was turned into makeshift desks and the micro-kitchen is littered with popcorn and gold paper. Jennifer has Lil Wayne playing on repeat.

In order to determine the parameters of the forms for the Micro-enterprise additions (small, 200-400-square foot additions to existing single-family homes), we've developed multiple options for each of the initial six buildings we've located and are in the process of acquiring in partnership with the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC).

Yesterday, Jennifer, Germane and I headed out for a photoshoot in Magnolia North. After some coaxing -- with a few moments of humorous but near disastrous moments of duct-tape-in-the-hair -- we got the photo we wanted: what we're calling "Micro-enterprise Model Models." (It's a funny nod to Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi standing at the edge of Las Vegas in 1968 -- which was, in turn, a nod to painter Rene Magritte's 1964 painting Son of Man.)

Where are these models headed? Los Angeles, of course -- to become part of a guerrilla architecture exhibition taking place in the parking lot at the Museum of Contemporary Art. (Thanks in advance our friendly Delta baggage handlers for not busting up our models in the cargo hold.) Over the years Jennifer and I have become masters economy-ticket model transporters, especially on the luxurious Los Angeles-Miami route. We know the overhead bin dimensions down to the centimeter.

-- Christian Stayner

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