Back in February, Sydney, Australia-based One Laptop Per Child spin-off, One Education, officially unveiled its concept for a modular laptop called the XO-Infinity. Aimed at being so simple to put together that a 4-year-old could do it, the (slightly renamed) Infinity project has now blossomed into a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to get the colorful portable computer into the hands of school kids around the globe.
We've seen a number of European camper-in-a-box solutions over the years, including the Swiss Roombox, German Ququq and French Yatoo systems. The Austrian Qubiq system may be the most versatile of them all, finding a middle ground between those all-in-one integrated systems and smaller, single-purpose modules like Buddy Boxes. With Qubiq, campers can mix and match units that cook, wash, refresh and sleep.
Housing space in New York is increasingly at a premium in terms of both demand and cost. A new development, however, will cater for those who don't need a lot of space. Project architect nARCHITECTS says My Micro New York will be the tallest modular construction in Manhattan.
Interesting architecture doesn't always come with a high price tag. In a similar vein to the S House and Low Cost House, Mexican architect Tatiana Bilbao unveiled an US$8,000 home at this year's Chicago Architecture Biennial. The low-cost house could perhaps one day complement existing social housing options in Mexico.
If you've ever fancied making your own furniture, now's your chance. PlayWood allows users to design and build pieces of furniture using special connectors and other materials of their choice. It's possible to make everything from chairs to tables to storage solutions.
Chinese architecture and design collective Penda reckons bamboo should be a more widespread construction material than it currently is. To promote this view, the firm produced a pavilion, dubbed Rising Canes, for this year's Beijing Design Week. The installation comprises a prototype bamboo framework that Penda envisions as a basis for a modular housing system in the future.
Minecraft has partly replaced Lego bricks as a creative platform for young tinkerers, but while it is a fantastic avenue for training computer and block-building skills, Mojang's hit videogame also does little to improve handcrafting. Robo Wunderkind, from the German "wonder child," is a modular toy that promises to marry the old with the new by letting even the youngest hands and minds (aged five and up) build and program their own robot creations.
Today's proliferation of niche housing types includes dwellings that are tiny, modular, prefabricated and inexpensive. Belgian firm Skilpod is producing homes that are all of these things. With the right equipment, they can even be zero energy or energy positive.
The Swiss-designed Boner Kayak's name doesn't translate over so well to English, but that's okay because slick design is a universal language. The kayak breaks down into three pieces that nest together and fit easily into the trunk – or even backseat – of a car. It's not the first kayak we've seen with such a modular design, but its birchwood-and-fiberglass construction makes it the most appealing.
According to the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE), there were 607 families in emergency accommodation in Dublin during August this year. One means of reducing this, it says, could be the use of modular housing. It can be built quickly and inexpensively to house homeless families temporarily.