MakeLab 2018: 'Off-the-Grid' - habitation without address
This year the program will revolve around the theme of ‘off-the-grid habitation’, creating inhabitable architectural spaces that can be used as a dwelling at different sites and in different contexts outside of the regulative framework of institutional control. Using the concept of 'adress-less-ness' - we speculate on a potential future society where urban and rural citizenship can exist without the burden of multi-year rent / lease contracts, fixed rate mortgage deals and taxes that limit ones freedom to determine where, when and how to live. In a time where of co-working, co-living and ride-sharing initiatives are blossoming, the proposition of 'addresslessness' does not necessarily imply a bohemian, anarchistic or desperate state of homelessness but could be a successful new business model for a generation pressured by high costs of living. Helped by mobile technology similar to Uber or DriveNow, dwelling could be as flexible as ''pay-as-you-go''.
In this workshop we will approach the opportunity of 'nomadic living' from a group discussion and seminar about contemporary issues in architecture and society, covering social, economic and technological changes that drive innovation. We also address this challenge from a specific architectural technological point of view, understanding performative aspects such as the filtering of light, views and privacy applicable to architectural envelopes. Aiming to design and build a 1:1 scale prototypical structure out of plywood and fibreglass, we will develop a radical but realistic working model of a living enclosure, to be tested through our own inhabitation including sleeping in it over the last night of the workshop.
Methodology and Outcomes
The workshop include seminars on contemporary societal issues related to housing, covering history and theory as well as current technology and innovations. The course will also incorporate tutorials on current advanced design tools including Rhino 3D modeling and parametric modeling using Grasshopper and various plug-ins related to structural and environmental optimisation.
In the initial phase of the workshop, participants will work individually or in small groups on design proposals and in the second phase of the workshop we will work together on a single collective project, assisted by specialist tutors from the AA. The programme is open to architectural students, teachers and professionals interested in collaborative discussion and hands-on exploration of experimental design+build processes.
The workshop will result in a 1:1 inhabitable structure and documentation of the process of design, construction and testing of the installation, in the form of architectural drawings, diagrams, photos and film.
Images: 'the Happiness Machine' - developed by students of AA Intermediate Unit 6, 2016/17: Abhinav Jain, Nelly Huang, Woojin Kim, Zineb Sentissi