Womens History :: Spotlight on Jennifer Siegal

Photo from la.curbed.com
By Alyce Packard, BID Candidate
Jennifer Siegal is founder and principal of the LA based firm Office of Mobile Design. OMD is dedicated to the design and construction of responsible, sustainable, and precision built structures. OMD prefab homes cost about 15% less than conventional buildings, they take less than half the construction time, and they employ more sustainable building methods.

In 2003, Esquire magazine named her one of the “Best and Brightest” because of her innovative design sensibilities, futuristic concepts, prefabricated construction, and green building technologies. She was a 2003 Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s School of Design. At Harvard she explored the use of intelligent, kinetic, and lightweight materials. Because of this, she was featured in 2006 Fast Company’s “Master of Design” for her exceptional approach to utilizing new material and forms to create her designs.

When Jennifer bought her home in Venice CA, it hadn't been updated in 50 years. She demolished as many walls as she could to create a more open floor plan, she added larger windows, and she put in bamboo floors. She replaced a lot of the existing doors with glass to open up the view of the garden and she used mostly recycled materials. To increase the square footage of the house by 200sf she had a recycled drop-frame moving truck trailer attached to the back of it. The trailer connected with a master bath and the laundry room.The house is open from the floors to the ceilings creating a perfect space for yoga and meditation.

The design of this house was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's  American System of Housing. The American System of Housing was a pioneering scheme to build prefabricated houses with pre-cut framing, cabinets and other factory-made parts. The Taliesin Mod.Fab is a one-bedroom, 960sf prototype residence that is an example of simple, elegant, and sustainable living in the desert. The residence uses panelized construction for speed and economy on site. It can be plugged in, it has solar panels that can be used for power, and when it is unplugged it can rely on rainwater. It is now used as a guesthouse.