Crafting with technology
Technologies are expanding and we’ll have to make use of it instead of fighting it with a fear of making quick and unthoughtful architecture. In other words, we have to get rid of the ”either/or” mindset and seek solutions where great architecture can be combined with new production methods.
Who are we?
We are Mia Behrens and Johanne Holm-Jensen, two young architects who strive to create architecture that is honest, authentic and life-long.
Through our residency at SPACE10, we want to explore how to build an open-source architectural structure, that can fit the needs of future living by looking into the tension field between old craftsmanship and new production technologies while also answering on the present need for a bigger use of more renewable resources.
What do we want?
Craftmanship vs. technology
Our architectural legacy is very different from the architecture being built today. Previously, architecture was very context specific and individually engineered. It is to some degree still like that, but we can’t deny that modern production methods and new construction demands to a greater extent forces architects to turn towards standardized and prefabricated solutions. We constantly have to build bigger, faster and cheaper to optimize processes and minimize costs, and there are no longer the same conditions for working meticulously with every detail of a building.
We find this to be an interesting issue, and something we wish to challenge by exploring if we can create an architectural project where modern production technologies (a CNC milling machine to be specific) that points towards standardized solutions can be combined with fine craftsmanship.
Global vs. local
We want to make an open-source concept that has relevance globally and can be manufactured locally – a statement that calls for a standardized and in the same time very flexible system capable of adapting to different contexts and uses.
Off grid solutions
The climate is changing, that is a fact, and because we more than ever need to rethink the way we live and consume, we have to think renewable resources into the project to ensure sustainable solutions such as solar power, rainwater harvesting etc. The aim is to make a self-sufficient system that can work completely off grid and inspire others to get off the grid as well.
To build sustainable, we have to make a product that is attractive for a wide number of people. We do not adapt for a better way of living by making expensive solutions for the few. The architecture should be flexible, simple to build and affordable without compromising quality.
Our project takes its point of departure in a comprehensive exploration and we have been inspired by a great variety of very different projects and concepts.
Opendesk is a great example on an open-source concept that has inspired us in terms of their strong ”global vs. local” strategy, while Elemental’s social housing project in Quinta Monroy, Chile has provided us with an understanding of the benefits of involving the residents in the process of building their homes.
Furthermore, we have been inspired by Mette Lange's Mini House concept because of the way in which a standardized module creates a flexible building structure for low cost housing.
Regarding the architectural angle for the project, we have among others been inspired by Peter Zumpthor’s museum project for the Allmannajuvet zinc mines, Norway, because of the way in which he has placed the buildings inherently into the context, Peter Friberg’s summerhouse in Ljunghusen, Sweden, because of the simple and honest construction of the house, and Rintala Eggertsson Architects hut-to-hut project in Karnataka, India, that uses local materials and furthermore composes a great off grid example.
Check out the projects above and lots of other interesting and inspiring projects on our Flipboard.
Where are we heading?
The object of the project is to create an architectural structure, that is so flexible, that it can be used for several different purposes. Our underlying basis for the development of the project is a housing unit, that can be used all over the world and adapted to its context by the use of local materials. Our aim is to distribute the project on a platform, where you can customize your new house and afterwards download a manual and build it yourself. This requires a simple and thought out construction – but let’s see if we can do it.
We hope you’ll follow our process. See you!
- How do we design a sustainable and low impact project?
- How do we integrate technology in a smart way?
- How do we provide an affordable solution?
- How can we design architecture that is so simple that everybody can build it?
- How can we design a standardized system that at the same times ensures flexibility so that we can provide solutions to different needs?
The benefits of open-source housing
- Open source is changing the way architecture is produced and moved, cutting out time-consuming manufacturing and cutting out expensive shipping
- By sharing globally and manufacturing locally you get a more sustainable solution
- The design can be tweaked to individual specifications and materials
- It is easy to add addition(s)
- It can be designed as a set that can be completely self-assemblied