LIVINGSCAPES

Trend research: Nomadic House.
Mobile Living

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In a dynamic and changing world, people’s movements through different experiential spaces and times are equally swift and frequent. The revival of certain typically nomadic traits, such as displacement, change, seeking and finding, is consistent with the unstable and constantly changing societies in which people live, work and consume today.

Increasingly “fluctuating” people and communities need easily “packable” and transportable solutions, ranging from furnishings to whole houses.

In this context, architects and interior designers push the boundaries between transitoriness and permanence, between immobility and mobility, designing structures and furniture that combine the inalienable demand for comfort with easy of assembly and disassembly and transportability, requiring a minimum of time and resources.

It is not simply the way in which we live our houses that has changed, but the very concept of residential construction. This has given rise to modular, portable housing units, that redraw the landscapes into which they are inserted, portable and movable furnishings and interiors that respond to the need for displacement and change. Versatile and sustainable projects – often low cost – that leave a light footprint on their native planet.

Our philosophy is simple, we only make furniture that lasts. To that end, our parts need to be durable and transportable, because who knows where you are going to be five or ten years from now? It’s furniture that will stick with you, no matter where your next adventure takes you”. This is one of the declarations of intent on the website of the new Greycork brand, which sets out to re-work the very concept of furnishing.

The collection includes a sofa, a chaise-longue, a table, a bookcase and a coffee table, all made out of high quality materials durable enough to withstand multiple house moves. That’s not all, however, because all the pieces in the collection are designed to be flat packed and assembled and disassembled in minutes, requiring no tools or special equipment.

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Kasita is a mobile housing solution developed by a company in Austin in response to the needs of students, young professionals and others, who struggle to pay large city rents and living costs. The concept consists of single modules that can be joined together and set atop each other to form a grid-like structure, up to a height of 10 floors.

Each module is a micro home measuring approximately 30 square metres, and consists of a metal paralleliped with a projecting glass cube. The internal walls are flexibly designed to accommodate shelving and storage, and each space comes fully furnished, from a double bed to a hyper-equipped kitchen, as well as all the smart next generation technological devices. These include intelligent Nest thermostats, a wireless LED lighting system and light-sensitive windows. All the utilities can be controlled from a smartphone app.

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The modules can be used as temporary homes wherever necessary, on land considered unsuitable for development or left empty between urban rehabilitation programmes.

Amsterdam-based Studio OBA has come up with an innovative solution for the impermanence that characterises the life and relationships of an increasing number of people. In view of the rising divorce rate in Western society and in some European countries in particular, OBA has produced a prototype housing module comprised of two separate parts that can, if needed, be detached and “go solo”. 

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The project was inspired by the many floating homes on Amsterdam’s canals, which led to the idea of creating two independent units which slot together to form a home for a couple, with a simple disconnection mechanism that allows them to become disengaged and float apart should the relationship turn sour.

The lightweight structure is made of carbon fibre and wood, and the designers envisage that the individual modules could then be reconnected to others when a new relationship forms. The team plans to start taking orders in early 2017.