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Housing

The Dutch are known for their ingenuity in taming it and using it to their advantage, but their systems for keeping water at bay are now being rethought by architect Koen Olthuis and his team at Waterstudio. While rising sea and river levels have inspired governments around the world to invest in better flood defenses, with the Citadel, Olthuis is embracing water-borne housing with particular vigor. Read More
Swedish architectural firm Tengbom has come up with a creative new accommodation model that squeezes student living into a compact 10 sq m footprint. The Smart Student Unit aims to offer an inexpensive and sustainable housing choice for students in Sweden that could reduce the current residency rents by half. Read More
Johannesburg-based design studio, Architecture For A Change (AFAC) has recently completed the construction of an off-the-grid prefabricated unit located in the informal settlement of Mamelodi, South-Africa. Dubbed Mamelodi Pod, the tiny prototype is designed with the aim of raising local living conditions while also providing an affordable housing solution for settlement districts. Read More
A tragedy of modern times is the millions of refugees displaced by poverty, oppression, war and natural disaster. Most end up living in canvas tents of a basic design that are hot in summer, cold in winter, and only last about six months in constant use despite some refugees living in such tents for up to 12 years. On World Refugee Day in June, the Ikea Foundation unveiled a new flat-pack refugee shelter with a modular design and solar panel designed to help improve living conditions for refugees. Read More
Hathigaon (or elephant village) is an ongoing low-income housing project by RMA Architects designed to provide a suitable habitat for 100 working elephants and their keepers. The project is located on the foothills of the popular tourist destination of Amber Palace, near Jaipur, India, and sees land once devastated by sand quarrying once again reclaimed for use. Read More
Located within Spoleto’s high security prison is an inmate carpentry workshop which produces furniture for other prisons throughout Italy. Artist collective Cibic Workshop joined forces with co-operative organization Comodo in order to task these talented carpenters with the creation of Freedom Room: a flexible and low-cost micro-living module concept that could be employed as a tiny dwelling, social housing solution, hostel, or perhaps even a more comfortable prison cell. Read More
A self-assembled spherical house may sound like a simple idea, but the founders of the Ekinoid Project are extraordinarily ambitious. It's thought that the global population could reach 9 billion by 2050, and to house some of those 2 billion extra people, the Ekinoid Project would see pop-up off-grid towns comprised entirely of spheroid pods accommodate 10,000 people at a time in some of Earth's least hospitable places. Read More
Surely no one could, or indeed would, live in a real iceberg as it floated around in the sea. However, living in an apartment that's part of a building inspired by the shape and stature of an iceberg may not be so bad. Isbjerget (the Danish for Iceberg) is an apartment complex built on the waterfront of Aarhus in Denmark, with its unique shape providing sea views for (almost) all residents. Read More
Sadly, widespread homelessness isn’t going away any time soon, and until society works out a larger solution, ideas are needed to improve the living conditions of people without a home right now. One such idea put forward is a cardboard-constructed pop-up shelter dubbed “Cardborigami,” which is designed to serve as a transitional shelter until a permanent home is found. Read More
Argentinian designers Matías Alter and Matías Carrizo have developed the Modularflex emergency response shelter in response to what they see as shortcomings with other designs. Generally, alternatives either require on-site assembly, which may require skilled hands; or they come pre-built, making transportation difficult and inefficient. The simple folding design of Modularflex sidesteps both problems. Read More
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