Siegal ’87 Eco Home Featured – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Siegal ’87 Eco Home Featured

The work of Jennifer Siegal ‘87, Harvard Loeb Fellow ’03, was recently featured on, and reprinted in The Huffington Post.

Siegal is founder and principal of the Los Angeles-based firm Office of Mobile Design (OMD), which is dedicated to the design and construction of responsible, sustainable, and precision built structures. Her innovative mobile structures include customized, prefab, green Modernist homes; the Mobile EcoLab used to teach students about the environment; and the Portable Construction Training Center created for the Venice Community Housing Corporation. Her most recent work is a modern, modular home product line called Take Home.

Siegal’s work was exhibited at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution during its 2003 National Design Triennial; the Walker Art Center’s Strangely Familiar: Design and Everyday Life; the 2006 NY Mobile Living Exhibition; and the National Building Museum’s The Green House, New Directions in Sustainable Architecture and Design in 2006 and Reinventing the Globe: A Shakespearean Theater for the 21st Century in 2007.

In addition, her work has received television exposure on CNN and HGTV. It has received broadcast coverage on NPR’s “My Fellow Americans,” and has been widely published in more than 100 books, newspapers and journals from Architectural Record, Domus, Dwell, Elle Décor, ID, Los Angeles Times, Metropolitan Home, Newsweek, New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Time, Vanity Fair, Wired, Wall Street Journal, and Wallpaper.

One of her designs was recognized by the popular media in 2003 when Esquire magazine named her one of the “Best and Brightest” and the Architectural League of New York included her in the acclaimed Emerging Voices program. She was featured in 2006 Fast Company’s “Masters of Design” for her exceptional approach to utilizing new material and forms to create her designs. She was also honored when Mayor Antonio Viaragossa presented her with the History Channel’s 2006 Infiniti Design Excellence Award for her competition entry for the Los Angeles City of the Future 2106.

While at William Smith, she was an architectural studies major who also worked at Saga.

For more information on Siegal and her company, Office of Mobile Design, visit her Web site: More about the featured house is also on her site.

The photo essay in which her home was included is excerpted below.
18 Incredible Small Green Homes That Live Large

Brian Clark Howard

These exciting and comfortable designs from the new book Small Eco Houses show what’s possible, and sustainable, in under 2,500 square feet.
Also see more amazing green homes and homes built from shipping containers.

Small Can Be Beautiful
Efficient light bulbs, non-toxic furniture and Energy-Star certified appliances can certainly reduce your family’s environmental impact. But as population rises, we have to start paying more attention to the fact that the more dwelling space we provide for each person, the more resources we are going to use.

In 2009, the average American home was 2,343 square feet, well more than double the average in 1950. While new home sizes have dipped slightly during the recession, it’s also true that more and more architects and builders are recognizing that small really can be beautiful. We see this in efficient, affordable modular design, and some folks are even going so far as to move into repurposed shipping containers. Some small green homes are envisioned as rustic cabin getaways, while others are on the cutting edge of style and amenities.

The new book Small Eco Houses (Universe, $35) by Cristina Paredes Benitez and Alex Sanchez Vidiella is a wonderful survey of beautiful small homes that are packed with sustainable features, from use of recycled and local materials to natural lighting and landscaping. Many are inspiring examples of what’s possible if we think outside the old mantra that bigger is always better.

Taliesin Mod.Fab Modular Home
960 square feet
Taliesin Design/Build Studio, J. Siegal, M.P. Johnson Design
Scottsdale, Arizona

If you’re thinking the Taliesin Mod.Fab house looks like a mobile home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, you’d be on the right track. According to the book Small Eco Houses, the groundbreaking architect had actually experimented with modular designs early in his career, but adoption of the resource-saving concept was reportedly cut short by the disruption of World War I.

The Taliesin (also featured on page 1 of this feature) pays homage to Wright while showcasing sustainability. It’s built with so-called SIPs, structural insulated panels, which make installation quick. The house is designed to work well off the grid, using natural lighting and ventilation and optional solar panels.

Read more: