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Larry Sass

A young french racing cyclist, about his job : “Biking is real. I don’t need my iPhone or my computer when I’m training.” Certainly, Larry Sass would agree wholeheartedly with that. This cycling enthusiast, who often escapes on two wheels, spends a lot of time on his computer, as an associate professor in the Department of Architecture at MIT specialized in “computation”. in plain language, he tries to write software to design printable houses. “My goal is 100 houses per day.” 3D printers already exist but only for small objects. Like 2 or 3 other guys, not more, Larry is working on a revolutionary architecture, which could address economic, environmental and human issues. In 2005, developing a new method of 3D model making, he discovered that the system “could also be used to manufacture the finished building components from the same data used to laser cut models. By 2007 I developed a research proposal to investigate the system in New Orleans, a place that had lost over 5,000 homes from the hurricane Katrina.” And in 2008, he had the great opportunity to present the full-size model of this low-cost house in kit at the MOMA in NY. Larry knew he wanted to become an architect when he was 12 and he always wanted to do low-cost housing for any deprived community anywhere. He grew up in a very poor family in NY, at a time when you could barely find 2 or 3 safe places in the city. His grand-parents lived in Virginia where the little city dweller died of boredom but also sharpened his taste for “classical architecture like columns, details like fancy doorknobs and doorknockers.” “I love ornamentation.” So much that after his BArch from Pratt Institute in NYC, he went to the Veneto in Italy to study his favorite architect, Palladio. Now he spends a lot of time in Singapore where he helps to create the Architecture Department in their 4th university.  Another type of Renaissance, made of steel and glass… “When you go to Asia you have to understand that the system is very different. The government is at the top of the hierarchy, the individual is low down.” He took this sense of observation from his mum, who taught her kids to “learn the system if you want to succeed.” Stepping into the ”white male” field which of architecture, Larry knew he had to “aspire to do ‘good things’. Like farming, camping, reading, talking about fairness… or low-cost architecture.” 2 events changed his life, as well as the lives of all black people : 9/11, because “someone else took the burden, we were not the people to be afraid of anymore” And Obama’s election. “a great pride, which is the top value in our community, a great example for our kids.” He has 3 with his wife Terry. They live in a very beautiful imposing house. The childhood dream fulfilled, they want to move to an apartment. No more shoveling, picking up the leaves, fixing the roof… Street noise or intrusive neighbors ? This is pure life for a New Yorker !