Think and Wonder: Design Lessons Learned from Where Tomorrow Lives ProjeKt


January 15, 2019

Architect KTGY shares thoughts about collaboratory project focused bringing health and well-being into the home.

By Manny Gonzalez

I think just about everyone living today either read or had read to them a Dr. Seuss story or two and perhaps learned some lessons from his musings. One of my favorites is, “Think and wonder, wonder and think,” from the book Oh, the Places You’ll Go! And, nothing could be more fitting to describe the lessons learned from being a part of the creative team for the BUILDER KB Home ProjeKt, because we did just that, think and wonder, wonder and think. And my hope is that this concept home will show the home building industry the places we can go.

Perhaps the first lesson learned is to not just think outside of the box but do it with a whole creative team.In production housing, there is generally a kick-off meeting between the builder and the architect where lot size, square footage and programming for the home are discussed. The architect draws up some plans and presents them to the builder; however, that is often done electronically with very little design team interaction.

From day one on the KB ProjeKt, it was obvious this was going to be different, this was going to be an all-inclusive collaboration. The first meeting encompassed everything from lessons learned on the original KB ProjeKt for the 2016 Greenbuild Conference and Expo to what the home of the future might be like. You could feel the energy build as one idea led to another and the vision for this concept home was born.

While those early meetings helped shape the design of the home, it was the meeting at Google that seemed to give it life. Scores of ProjeKt partners met at Google headquarters to share the latest innovations they were bringing to the home. The incredible result of the collaboration of all of the creative team members will be obvious to anyone touring the home in Vegas in January or February.

The second lesson learned is don’t be afraid to be a pioneer. The KB Home ProjeKt team was driven to be different, driven to pioneer something new. From a new land plan concept that replaces pavement with open space and, at the same time, increases density to a home that provides total wellness for the residents, this design concept is certainly something new to production housing and sets the stage for an exciting new future.

The third lesson learned is a home doesn’t have to cost more to build it better if you think smarter. Beginning with the concept of the movable wall that allows the entertainment space to expand, the design team was able to build a smaller home due to the flexibility, saving construction costs and operating expenses as well. Building the home by robotics in a manufacturing plant, not only saves waste, but allows the home to be erected 10 times faster than normal. Using innovative products for the home envelope and the comfort control reduce the size of the equipment needed and, in turn, will decrease the cost of conditioning the space.

But, the process of thinking smarter only would have happened in the way that it did because of the collaborative process the design team went through and the team’s willingness to pioneer. The vision of what the KB ProjeKt could be that started about 11 months ago in KB Home’s Las Vegas office and the home that soon will open for visitors at Inspirada never would have happened without a true team effort.

My final message to the homebuilding industry from this series of articles is another quote from Dr. Seuss in his book, The Lorax, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” The KB Home ProjeKt creative team cared a whole awful lot about what they were doing and sincerely hopes this concept home shows the industry how it can get better… a lot!

To learn more about the design and construction process, visit