If you want to see a suburban house in Manhattan, you have to go to a  
museum. On an asphalt parking lot behind a chain-link fence, the  
Museum of Modern Art’s current exhibit Home Delivery presents five of  
them, plus a sixth (of earlier vintage) in a gallery upstairs. Passing  
New Yorkers glance with slightly bemused curiosity, as if the  
structures were exotic animals in a zoo.

The exhibit, curated by Barry Bergdoll, brilliantly explores the now  
curious-seeming 20th century notion that houses should be designed and  
delivered like mass-produced, factory-fabricated and assembled  
artefacts — automobiles, aircraft and tanks. This idea never met with  
much success, but that didn’t stop many of the stars of 20th century  
modernism from developing kits of parts for factory production and  
designing “demonstration” prefabricated homes — most of which never  
got beyond the rendering and model stage.