Friday, October 31, 2008

Did you hear the one about the Walking House?

Having given up on tea bags, and forgotten to keep you updated on the full gruesome Charles Hurst experience of buying a Toyota Aygo (great car - just past 1000 miles after three months!), small houses could well become a preoccupation of this blog!

Moving house is such a pain. Just ask the removal firm we’ve used the last couple of times! But imagine you could eliminate the need to pack everything into badly labelled boxes and never quite get around to unpacking all of them at the far end. Instead you could simply take your house with you!

Well, this isn’t a post espousing the joys of caravanning, or news that we’ve bought a Dormobile or a Volkswagen Camper van.

N55's Walking House

No it’s news of the Walking House, described as

“a modular dwelling system that enables persons to live a peaceful nomadic life, moving slowly through the landscape or cityscape with minimal impact on the environment.”

Solar cells and small windmills supply your power needs, while collected rain water is channelled through solar heaters. There’s a mini-kitchen and a composting toilet. Oh, and six legs.

Back to the blurb …

“It is a common fact that walking often helps a person concentrate their thoughts and creates a mental state that enforces mobility of the mind.”

Ok so far.

“The WALKING HOUSE is constructed to move at a pace similar to human speed exactly for this reason.”

Close-up of the Moving House's legs

Clump, clamp, clank! (Check out the youtube clip.) Like something out of The Tripods, a hexagonal house walks up the street in the middle of the night. Oh, that must be the Smith family making a midnight flit. Funny only the other day she said she was fed up with the neighbours!

“By adding several modules together the system can provide dwellings that adapts to social needs for living as a single person, in a family, a collective or even in a WALKING VILLAGE. In this way the WALKING HOUSE adapts to persons instead of persons having to adapt to the house.”

I’m not sure if the Caravan Club will be offering membership to Walking House owners any year soon, but it’s a novel design idea that grew out of the N55 group (can’t find a better word to describe them) being

Resting in the Walking House's living room
“... asked by Wysing Arts Centre to collaborate with a group of travellers in the area around Cambridge, where there has traditionally been a large population of travelers [sic] living in a symbiotic relationship with the settlers, making a living as seasonal workers on the farms. After an initial meeting with one of the groups, it was clear that the traditional nomadic culture was disappearing fast and the Romani people where settling down and living as a marginal group with all the problems that goes with this situation.”

And so the modern version of a Romani horse-drawn carriage was created. Coming to Boston soon.

“The WALKING HOUSE requires no permanent use of land and thereby challenges ownership of land and suggests that all land should be accessible for all persons. Society could administrate rights to use land for various forms of production of food for example, but ownership of land should be abolished.”
Walking House from above

N55 have also experimented with other Micro Dwellings and Urban Free Habitat Systems.

(via ShinyShiny and Geeky Gadgets)

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