WALKING HOUSE, Copenhagen 2008
WALKING HOUSE is 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. It collects energy from its surroundings
using solar cells and small windmills. There is a system for collecting
rain water and a system for solar heated hot water. A small greenhouse
unit can be added to the basic living module, to provide a substantial
part of the food needed by the Inhabitants. A composting toilet system
allows sewage produced by the inhabitants to be disposed of. A small wood
burning stove could be added to provide CO2 neutral heating. WALKING HOUSE
forms various sizes of communities or WALKING VILLAGES when more units
are added together. WALKING HOUSE is not dependant on existing infrastructure
like roads, but moves on all sorts of terrain.
Each unit is equipped with the basic systems for maintaining everyday
life for a maximum of four persons. But it could easily be scaled up for
larger family structures. Furniture is an integrated part of the structure.
The module can be constructed from numerous materials. It is based on
a framework made of steel, aluminum or wood and can be covered with steel,
aluminum, wood or even semi- permeable textiles. Windows are made of polycarbonate.
Insulation could be anything from thin plates of Polyethylene to wool.
The rear of the modules opens up to form a stair that functions as an
entrance. Each leg works as an autonomous unit with its own accumulators
and linear actuators. The concept is that six legs could be mounted on
any kind of structure and make it walk. When it walks three legs are always
on the ground to provide the necessary stability. The structure should
move at a slow pace similar to the walking speed of the human body. 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. The WALKING
HOUSE is constructed to move at a pace similar to human speed exactly
for this reason. 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.
See the house walk here
WALKING HOUSE is a result of a specific project initiated by Wysing Arts
N55 was 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 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.
What was left appeared to be a brutalized culture fighting to survive
in a hostile environment becoming increasingly hostile itself. So we decided
to see if it would be possible simply to keep a distance to the current
situation and maintain an overview of the benefits of a nomadic culture
and try to suggest new means that would enable a nomadic life in a symbiotic
way with the surroundings. This is very much a question of the differences
in aesthetics between the nomadic culture and the settlers. Our working
theory has been that by introducing a design that both are inspired by
traditional nomadic culture and contemporary design solutions, some of
these differences could easier be overcome.
Traditional Romani Horse carriages from the 18th century are very refined
systems of living in confined spaces
Romani Carriage 18th century
These horse powered
carriages are covered by textiles or wood, both materials that enables
the space to breathe while removing the moisture produced by the people
The inner walls are often covered with wool for insulation purposes. Furniture
etc are designed to take up as litle space as possible
We have used this tradition to inspire a new design that uses some
of the technological advantages of modern society
Ownership of LAND and WALKING HOUSE:
It is a habitual conception that ownership of land is acceptable. Most
societies are characterized by the convention of ownership. But if we
claim the ownership of land, we also say that we have more right to parts
of the surface of the earth, than other persons have
We know that persons should be treated as persons and therefore as having
rights. If we say here is a person who has rights, but this person has
no right to stay on the surface of the earth, it does not make sense.
If one does not accept that persons have the right to stay on the surface
of the earth, it makes no sense to talk about rights at all. If we try
to defend ownership of land using language in a rational way it goes wrong.
The only way of defending this ownership is by the use of power and force.
No persons have more right to land than other persons, but concentrations
of power use force to maintain the illusion of ownership of land.
The misunderstanding that persons have a right to own land leads to situations
where there is no tolerance for different ways of living and in extreme
situations this leads to war.
Concentrations of power limit persons access to land by the force
of among other things the notion of ownership. 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.
N55 furthermore suggest that WALKING HOUSES should be owned by all persons
in common and used by the persons wanting to live in them.
Kitchen, toilet and main computer
Bed and woodstove
Walking house could easily be equipped with specialized modules for various
forms of productions like greenhouses, small factories etc. A WALKING
HOUSE or a WALKING VILLAGE could supply means for the inhabitants to make
a living in this way while moving through the Landscapes and cityscapes.
As an example a WALKING VILLAGE could be specialized in foodproduction
or special modules for fishfarming, greenhouses and so on could be part
of the construction.
Solar panel and batteries
Height: 3.5 meters
Width: 3.5 meters
Length: 3.72 meters
Weight: 1200 kg
Max speed: 60 meters/hour
Plating and framework wood and plywood
Legs made of steel and mechanical components
12 linear actuators
WALKING HOUSE SITUATIONS:
ONE CITY CAMPAIGN, Copenhagen 2011
ONE CITY CAMPAIGN, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2011
Instant Herlev Institute, Herlev, Denmark, 2010
Ruhr, Germany, 2010
Copenhagen harbor, Denmark, 2010
Wysing, Cambridge, England, 2009
By N55, Ion Sørvin, Øivind Alexander Slaatto, Sam Kronick
Thanks to Ingvar Rønne, Frank Jensen, Kirstine Hedensten, William
Mckenna, Claus Nørregaard, Peter madsen, Christian Ravn, Nicolai
Slaatto,Jacob Slaatto, Tardeus von fürstenhau hasdorf and Bjarne
Dedicated to Ingvil Hareide Aarbakke, Co-founder of N55
WALKING HOUSE has been commissioned by
Wysing Arts Centre
with support from:
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