Today's Topic: Future Living

Concept

This project is a speculative design project that tackles the issues of "wasted" space and how we can move forward in our living with the advancement of technology such as self-driving cars. This project mainly focuses on combining self-driving cars and tiny homes together to maximise our usage. It looked at 3 different worlds that the combination creates. The main purpose was to create discussion around our future living and how we can work together to create the future we want. 

Presentation and Research 

Introduction

Here’s I am, living life like everybody,
I buy what I like and often do not think about where it comes from or the waste produced. In today’s world, everything is so easily accessible. However aside human rights issues such as child labor, waste is a huge problem. Every year we dump a massive 2.12 billion tons of waste, partly because 99% of what we buy are trashed within the first 6 months. The clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world, second only to oil. Yeah that cute top that you bought yesterday for that ONE occasion is contributing to our annual waste. We are currently living a very greedy and selfish way; we do not think about how our actions impact the bigger picture. Me, alone can’t change the world so why can’t I buy that cute top? Well, the thing is 7.4 billion of us think this way, this is why we are rapidly moving towards “the human extinction”. As a society, we always think bigger is better, this results in very inefficient use of space especially in terms of dwelling. Imagine yourself in your home, where are you located? Your bedroom? The kitchen? The living room? Regardless of where you imagined yourself, you can really only be in one room at once. So why we are so attracted to owning a big house? If not for our own vanity and ego. We want to feel better than others and therefore superior because we want to feel unique.

So I went on a journey to find a new way of living that will eliminate our greed, a world where we live minimalistic, efficient, for basic human needs rather than monetary value. In this scenario, it was very important that we stopped building completely, caring for beyond ourselves, seeing the earth’s as home to all beings rather than just humans.

My initial idea was to have a portable home that can fits in your pockets then expand as home as it adapts to its surrounding. I found this to be too far into the future. So instead I looked at what technology that already exist that can help me realised this vision.

For small living, I looked at tiny homes and for mobility I looked at self-driving car. Therefore,

Tiny Homes + Self Driving-Car = Probable/Preferable Future Living

World 1.0

So to start off, I’ve designed tiny homes on wheel that are attachable to self-driving cars. It is predicted that in the future, car ownership will be a thing of the past. World 1.0 will provide simpler living for people which means less hoarding of things. This new proposed way of living consists of 3 components, the self-driving car, house car and the engine car. By cutting down the space we live in, we will cut down our belongings. The house is mobile so that it allows for us to live anywhere without disrupting the landscape. Whether you want to live in the city or in the forest, making the house mobile allows us to use our land more efficiently. The tiny home is 37m^2, and is the same area needed for a studio apartment according the NZ building code. One of the main things I found unappealing with tiny houses is that you need to be self-sustain; it’s off-putting for most people. Naturally I thought what if it was a smart house that can replenish itself when you are away. You would never have to worry about running out of electricity or water. The issue is that if everyone homes goes on a journey then what about traffic? This is why the engine car is created for that purpose; it is a lot smaller which means less traffic or congestion issues. The engine car also takes care of your waste disposal. Of course this version isn’t perfect, there’s a lot more question surrounding it, which I don’t necessarily have the answer to. Here are some of the questions: will every house look the same since it attached to ONE model of self-driving car? Are the houses too big for our roads? Will self-driving cars be able to pull an entire house? How do we expect 7 Billions homes cars to fit on earth? How would it work for family? security? Where can they park?

World 1.1

World 1.1 is slightly different, instead of everything moving, only your belongings moves. In this sense, there’s no more ownership of houses per se, you essentially rent when the space you need. This separates the living and sleeping completely. Instead of being able to store your things in your house, everything must be stored in your car that is attachable to your ‘pod’. This means that you are still only using the ‘home’ when you need to. The rent period varies from household to household, you can rent the ‘home’ for a night but you can also rent for years. If you need more space, for example having friends over for a while, you are able to rent a second/third empty pod. World 1.1 allows us to live in existing buildings; parking lots forest etc.... but the only thing moving is your stuff and the engine car. The pods comes in at 7.5m^2. The pod forces us to live minimalistic as it removes ownership of things. This small square meter area was decided when I realized that I spend most of my time in my bedroom and it’s really the only space I need in the house. I took this as a challenge to design a home for a 2.5m by 3m house. Although it kind of worked, I found myself question the importance each household things. Do we need 2 sinks? Do we need that much kitchen counter space? Do we need a bed? I felt as though that all I was doing was try to fit a home in a small space and I thought that I should move away from the traditional idea of a home and rethink it.

 

Instead of things pulling out from the sidewalls, I thought that maybe things should pull up, so that we aren’t cutting down our already tiny area space. Basic utilities such as the kitchen, table and storage are 0.5m underneath the floor and are controllable via your smartphone.

Similar to world 1.0, world 1.1 raises many issues such as How do you control how many pods each person are allowed to rent? Can’t rich people just rent lots? How do you make people feel like they don’t own their pods? How does it get clean? Who cleans them between each use? How do you connect phones to your house and then disconnect it for the next person?

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World 1.3

Then it got me to World 1.2 where everything is moving. The main car room has basic storage unit (including a small fridge). The storages have the same system as world 1.1 however it’s a lot less of it. The idea is that we live in the nomadic style where all of our belongings can fit into a small suitcase. Why everything is moving? Because we only use one room at once, so why does have it as a permanent feature? Making everything moves means more sharing while using a lot less space. It creates a relationship between “public” and “private” space and questions what they really mean. To be me, this means each space is reusable without cutting down our square meter. There’s a nice relationship between the sharing spaces while also still remain private. The way the car moves from private to public is through storage, so I find that when I can leave my things in a room without worries then it’s a private space. So the storage pops up and moves into the space for the transition. All

the cars are requested via your smartphone when you need them. The main car is a 6.25m^2 which consist of retractable wall/door/window so it can easily transformed into another ‘room’ when attached to other utilities car. The main car also has the engine running when low, similar to previous worlds. Every unit has their own stations similar to the engines. For example if you request the kitchen, you don’t have to do the grocery, you put in the recipe and it brings you what you need along side the kitchen. It also will bring it to match your daily intake so little to no waste is created. I also imagine smaller basic delivery cars such as laundry, sink, couches, tables & chair, coffee & tea. All the cars are have self-cleaning technology. The main cars can be attached to each other to form a bigger car. In this world the roads are pretty hectic and I think it would be very difficult for us to walk on, which then poses the question, how can we walk? I thought about creating another pathway for humans to be able to still walk but I haven’t come into a real solution. Maybe it encourages us to leave the city if we want to walk? What if people don’t want to move anymore?

Big Questions surrounding this project includes:

How do you get people to live like that?

Micro-managing our lives?

Isn’t taking away a lot of our choices/freedom?

Existing structure//pipe lines?

How do you create a world without money? 

Spatial Designer, Massey University, 3rd Year, 2016