Evolution of non-traditional methods of construction: a C21st pragmatic viewpoint

Poorang Piroozfar, Eric R.P. Farr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The discussions on the process of ‘making' in architecture involve technology. The discourse on technology, is well- received both in hermeneutics (e.g. by Heidegger 1971, 1977) and in architectural theory (e.g. by Porphyrios 2002). What has been paid very little attention is how the notion has been evolved and developed pragmatically. This paper will focus on the paradigm shift from the established ‘ways' of ‘building' ‘on-site' to the new ‘methods' of ‘production' of space ‘off-site'. The focus however, is not the ‘shift' itself but rather how the destination ‘paradigm' has been comprehended and translated into practical solutions; and how those solutions have established a dialogue with ‘architecture' both as a profession and as the final product. The milestone in this study is the ‘Industrial Revolution', known as ‘the architect of change' in this transition. The paper does not provide a chronology of construction technology. By contrast, it focuses on the ‘evolution' both of the concepts, from a ‘semantic' viewpoint, and of the application, from a ‘pragmatic' viewpoint in an international context.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Architectural Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Modern methods of construction
  • Off-site production
  • Prefabrication
  • Industrialization
  • Building systems
  • Modularization
  • Mass production


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