UK planners James Woudhuysen and Ian Abley look forward optimistically to 2016 in Blueprint magazine :
Forget the 0.12 million new dwellings that deputy prime minister John Prescott conceded should be added to London Gateway’s 1.6 million inhabitants in 2004. In their best case scenario, after freeing up the planning process, a
whopping 1.2 million homes have been put in over a decade – 10 times the initial intention.
In 2016 the Will Alsop Toyota Mark 4 two-storey model is taking market share from the 2015 Zaha Hadid Asda bungalow. The range of functions, quality of workmanship, customer service and regular upgrades is amazing. These manufactured homes are giant Apple iPods for their age: powerful, sleek, easy to operate and full of personally selected
details. But never modular or plasticky.
The housing crisis demands a far more ambitious approach to prefabrication than the government and its agencies are currently delivering. Funding for research, development and design in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister currently stands at £29 million, while the Ministry of Defence has £2.5 billion at its disposal for R&D. That needs to change.
Instead of being a country of dilapidations, Britain needs to start using its design talent to offer solutions to the housing needs of present and future generations. Too many blueprints for the home of the future begin from the interior. They should start from the factory.