“Architecture has long been associated with the permanent and unmovable, but with rising sea levels, shrinking land space, and unconventional warfare boosting global refugee numbers to peak highs, structures that can be quickly linked together to house and shelter ephemeral communities—then disassembled and relocated just as quickly—are no longer the stuff of science fiction. From Suricatta’s Shelter Units for Rapid Installation (SURI) to MIT’s Rock Printing project, designs for temporary shelters in 2015 presented fluid, capable responses to the world’s many struggles to protect land and people. Though the refugee crisis is the most urgent application of temporary housing designs, these intentionally transitory structures are challenging an age-old assumption: that architecture should last forever.”
“One solution to the increasing demand for, and cost of, housing in major cities is shared accommodation. The thought may send shivers down your spine, but US-based Common has a new take on the concept, offering highly specced, flexible, community-focused housing for the 21st century.”
In recent years, anthropologists have spotlighted a new generation at “home in the diaspora,” in Behar’s words. For them the liminal is not life’s interlude, but life itself. While being uprooted results in lost jobs, broken relationships, and, as cultural anthropologist Anthony D’Andrea says, “displaced minds,” scientists are finding benefits to life in the liminal lane. The more time we spend in alien realms, they say, the more likely we are to perceive the world in ways we could never otherwise imagine, evoking a perfect backdrop for fevered creative work, learning, and personal growth. “When you thrust yourself out of your usual context,” Behar says, “you find out who you are.”
“Where can we sign up for a gig like this? We recently brought you news about Staten Island’s multi-million dollar URBY waterfront community, and now it looks like the project’s developers have hired NYC’s first official resident urban farmer. Experienced agriculture professional Zaro Bates will be in charge of growing food at the sustainable complex’s on-site urban farm, which will be located just steps away from her new apartment since she’ll also be getting free housing as part of the deal.”
“In a suburb of Rio, a new house is taking shape. It’s a building that can think for itself, react to outside conditions to adjust the lighting and temperature, all while generating more energy than it consumes.
The house is part of the NO.V.A. project (Nós Vivemos o Amanhã or We Are Living Tomorrow) and while energy efficient homes are nothing new – the first homes built to the Passivhaus standard went up in Germany in 1990 – NO.V.A. will be the first to act as a “living lab” with residents testing its technologies daily.”
“Coworking is probably a familiar concept at this point, but Evans wants to take his idea a step further. On Friday, on the top two floors of the building, he’s starting construction on a space he envisions as a dorm for Millennials, though he cringes at the word “dorm.” Commonspace, as he’s calling it, will feature 21 microunits, which each pack a tiny kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and living space into 300-square-feet. The microunits surround shared common areas including a chef’s kitchen, a game room, and a TV room. Worried about the complicated social dynamics of so many Millennials in one living unit? Fear not, Evans and partner John Talarico are hiring a “social engineer” who will facilitate group events and maintain harmony among roommates.”
“New forms of work and co-working spaces are taking over the office part of the equation, commerce moves to the internet and highways are atrocities we hope to overcome with better forms of shared transportation.
But nobody questioned the notion of home as radically as the Bauhaus team did in the early 1920s.
It’s time to do it again. And this time it’s driven by our quest for belonging, location independence and technology.”
“Working at home has obvious perks, but typing in bed in your pajamas isn’t necessarily quite as productive as sitting in an office. A new Swedish project aims to help freelancers find it easier to get things done, by transforming apartments and homes into temporary coworking spaces.”
Nearly 100 years after our modern idea of home was invented, we started a company that aims to create something better. Because seemingly exotic lifestyle choices available to a few should be accessible to many. It should be easy for you to live a life that’s more communal. Global. And interesting. While we’ll address reliable housing for nomads first, the bigger story is outlined below.
“Sometimes, I sit in my lawn chair at night next to the campfire, and look at the big blue bus in my campsite spot—or wherever we may be at the moment—and I think: “Wow. This is all I own in the world.” Everything in the world that I have to my name is currently inside a 1975 International Harvester school bus, and really, we don’t have much. We bought the bus in Alaska and have driven it over 4,000 miles in 6 months, exploring the Yukon Territory, British Columbia, and the Pacific Northwest.”
“There’s no shortage of grand gestures in high-profile buildings tailored like a bespoke suit for a specific client and function. Once the original tenant moves out, however, the structures are often gutted—which is expensive—or demolished—which is taxing on the environment. In designing Rotterdam’s new city hall—dubbed the Timmerhuis—the Office for Metropolitan Architecture opted for a multi-purpose approach. Intended to be future-proof, the pixelated mixed-use structure can morph over time, demonstrating a new paradigm for sustainable urban design.”
“Rising sea levels and a shortage of development sites are leading to a surge of interest in floating buildings, with proposals ranging from mass housing on London’s canals to entire amphibious cities in China (+ slideshow).
People will increasingly live and work on water, as planning policies shift away from building flood defences towards accepting that seas and rivers cannot be contained forever, say the architects behind these proposals.”
“Living on a houseboat may seem very romantic, but the day-to-day misery of hauling water from shore and listening to the thump of the generator can soon take the icing off the cupcake. As a glimpse into what could be the future of aquatic living, two Fraunhofer Institutes and their partners are working on a self-sufficient floating home that creates its own water, electricity, and heat without looking like a works barge.
Housing shortages are a recurring problem in many parts of Europe and the canals of Amsterdam and London show that floating homes are hardly a new idea. But such residences must either be situated in the few places where power and water hook-ups are practical or find tenants who don’t mind living off the grid.”
“Passive House designers are the Fremen of the architectural world. They look at buildings the same way that Dune’s noble desert tribe thinks about water. For the Fremen, the stillsuit is an essential tool for capturing moisture on a harsh desert world at all costs. For the Passive House designer, designing a building involves sealing it to retain energy and heat at all costs—or rather at low costs.”
“With home automation ready to hit the mainstream, and judging by the number of products in this category at this year’s Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas in January, a new battle of the brands is underway: Google vs Apple. With both multi-billion-pound corporations vying to become industry-standard for the internet of things, what plays out in the next couple of years will draw the map for smart-home technology for generations to come.”
“Our homes will get a lot smarter in the coming years, allowing us to use a smartphone to manage an integrated system of appliances and other electronics from any room—a kind of universal remote control for the “Internet of things.” An even easier, more intuitive approach, however, would allow us to flip through TV channels or turn on the coffeemaker with a simple hand wave.
A team of University of Washington (U.W.) computer scientists is developing just such a system (pdf). Dubbed “WiSee,” the system uses a modified wireless router to receive and identify slight disturbances in wi-fi signals that permeate living spaces. Software algorithms interpret the hand or body gestures that create those disturbances and translate the movements into commands for controlling specific wireless devices.”
“The Future of Home Living report is part of a series of in-depth surveys of trends driving key sectors and subject matters. This 75 page document describes 13 trends across 3 broader themes. Each trend is supported by 4 examples, supporting statistics and implications defined by our PSFK Labs team.”
“The hyper-connected smart home of the future promises to change the way we live. More efficient energy usage, Internet-connected appliances that communicate with one another and cloud-enhanced home security are just some of the conveniences we’ll enjoy.
It’s going to be amazing. It will also open up major questions about privacy.
“When we think about the most compelling reasons to own a fully functioning smart home, our minds are probably more likely to turn to efficiency, simplicity, entertainment and security, rather than health. But what would it mean if our homes could monitor our vital signs in a totally non-intrusive manner?
A team of researchers from MIT has developed a wireless sensing technology called Vital-Radio that can ambiently monitor breathing and heart rate. A Vital-Radio device can be implanted in the walls of smart homes to keep track of inhabitants’ health in real time. It could potentially benefit any member of a household, but the implications for being able to monitor babies or elderly relatives as they are sleeping are particularly compelling.”
“Parasitic architecture could provide sustainable and affordable housing in Paris. Design studio Stéphane Malka Architecture recently completed 3BOX, a trio of prefab dwellings attached to the rooftops of existing buildings. These innovative houses are priced 40 percent below market price despite their prime real estate location next to La Seine.”
“PDP London just completed the first phase of Killynure Green, a zero-carbon residential development created for Choice Housing, North Ireland’s biggest provider of social housing. Located in Carryduff in southeast Belfast, the competition-winning masterplan emphasizes community and environmentally friendly design principles. The first phase comprises 39 south-facing units that feature energy-smart elements including prefab timber construction, solar panels, and rainwater harvesting.”
“If you prefer views of blue waters over grass lawns, you’ll love the WaterNest 100, an adorable ecological floating habitat. Designed by architect Giancarlo Zema and developed by EcoFloLife after years of research, this solar-powered floating house offers an attractive and low-impact way to live in harmony with nature. Made of recycled and sustainable materials, the unit is 98% recyclable and can be positioned in any large and calm body of water.”
“London-based architecture firm Coppin Dockray completed a green house renovation that’s so successful it cut carbon emissions by 80 percent. Located on a steep wooded slope in the historic Wiltshire village of Antsy, the rural home, named Ansty Plum, comprises a 1960s house and small side annex that had fallen into severe disrepair. Coppin Dockray restored the original structure to its former glory and added double glazing, extra insulation, and other features to boost its thermal efficiency and comfort.”
“2050 is far enough off to imagine the urban environment will be very different from today. But, from current trends, we know a few things are likely. Three-quarters of people will live in a city, or 6.75 billion of the projected 9 billion global total. Everyone will have grown up with the Internet, and its successors. And city residents will have access to less natural resources than today, making regeneration and efficiency more of a priority.”
“Can your smart TV spy on you? Absolutely, says the US director of national intelligence. The ever-widening array of “smart” web-enabled devices pundits have dubbed the internet of things [IoT] is a welcome gift to intelligence officials and law enforcement, according to director James Clapper.
“In the future, intelligence services might use the [internet of things] for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials,” Clapper told the Senate in public testimony on Tuesday.”
“The goal is not to merely build “some small houses over there,” according to Woerner, but it’s to build a serious installation that has “multiple uses and multiple users.” He’s also not concerned with an all-scientific status for the base, and suggested that while some users of the base may be interested in space exploration or performing science, others may be private enterprises that may mine the moon. Thanks to the low lunar gravity and the moon’s airlessness, this base could also be a staging point for missions deeper into the solar system, including those sending humans to Mars.”
“Imagine this: Total Electric Living… where electricity does absolutely everything: heats, air conditions, cooks, preserves food, lights, entertains, encourages hobbies, makes it the easiest way ever for you and your family to be happier, healthier, to live fuller lives.”
Jaques Tati – Mon Oncle (Kitchen Scene)