Tiny Architectures on the Move
Boundaries issue n. 14
Being always on the go, carrying only the essential, choosing where to live, changing house or moving it several times during the year; the nomads lived on the move for thousands years, migrating with the seasons, the rain, the crops and livestock. Living on the move implies a redefinition of the meaning of home, and of the architecture of the space we live in. Nomadism becomes a condition of life, a state where the boundaries are fluid, trans-nationalism and free movement a necessity.
In the last decade, economic crisis and scarce job opportunities have triggered a change in the ways of living even in the “western” world, favouring a new form of nomadism, which is faced with rigid structures and strict regulations, with closing borders, and cultures that have been permanent for centuries. All this is favouring the born of a new culture of “space on the move” which favours sustainability of choices, flexibility in use of space, the importance of a connection to the Internet and, at the same time, of being disconnected from the network services.
The contemporary nomad moves following job opportunities, bringing with it much less than what a traditional nomad, in Africa or Asia, could imagine. All one could need have to enter into a bag small enough to be carried in the cabin of an airplane of a low-cost company, the most needed tools are those that allow to stay connected to the Internet:a smartphone, a laptop, and perhaps a way to recharge the batteries with solar or wind energy.The new office is a “mobile” one, which follows us everywhere.
So why not to work in many different cities during one year, chasing sunny beaches or ski slopes with guaranteed snow, or places to live with less than $ 500 a month, or where the air is cleaner? In recent years are born many websites that allow one to choose where to live on the base of temporary job opportunities, on the average monthly living cost, on the average Internet connection speed, on the availability of recreational and leisure opportunities, and on climate or air quality.A cultural change which has already favoured the rise of new architectural research and experimentation for the twenty-first century existenzminimum.
Being nomadic is a disposition that allows the soul to leave behind threadbare categories like age, gender, socio-economic status: to be young, or not, doesn’t matter, the nomadism points on experience, or rather on the multiple experiences that one can acquire living “around”, interconnected, gradually reducing their personal belongings, lessening what one needs to live to the essential.
With projects from: Aaron Maret Design Build Studio, Ana Rewakowicz, AOR Architects, Aristide Antonas, Attika Architekten, Büro Ole Scheeren, DeltaSync and Public Domain Architecten, H&P Architects, Jan Körbes and Denis Oudendijk, Mark Torrens & Federico Forestiero, MOS Architects, N55, Nice Architects, Office of Mobile Design, Pad Studio, Refunc, Robert Harvey Oshatz, Sascha Akkermann, Van Bo Le-Mentzel.
Boundaries is a quarterly magazine on sustainable, socially engaged and humanitarian architecture. Each issue is monographic, with full texts in English and Italian (facing), and all articles are accompanied by notes and a bibliography for further reading. ISSN 2239-0332.