Fig: 1 Overcrowded city and infrastructure (Credits- Pedro Lastra)
We are animals who have tamed our environments, domesticated fire and developed languages. The act of moving, eased by evolution over time, was triggered by basic survival instincts, to look for food, and sometimes out of pure curiosity and wonder.
Movement in search for discovery has enabled us to evolve not only as an individual but also as a species. Civilizations have sprung and declined and we still are moving forward to an unknown destiny.
While the basic movement, which makes us humans, remains, we have grown more comfortable in our static lives. This has resulted in overpopulation followed by issues of land scarcity, deterioration in the quality of living and work, and an increase in physical and mental problems. This makes us question the future of civilization.
Are we as a species ready to face and acknowledge these problems? Or are we just waiting for it to go into decline?
Fig: 2 – Remote working (Credits- Shutterstock)
ON THE MOVE
Our ancestors solved the problems of destroyed habitats by moving and finding a better one. This time there are no better habitats left.
Though in all this urban mess there are a certain group of young nomads rising day by day through a newer medium; Technology. The core of the digital nomad market comprises young adults.
This segment of digital nomads is well educated and has the means to self-fund travel and related experiences. There was already a gradual rise in such trends, but due to the pandemic, this was even more realized. The global population for these nomads is estimated to reach one billion by 2035. This lifestyle may place new demands on residences, tourism, cities and working spaces. Instead of wanting permanent homes, this generation may seek and want to live life through a different approach. Taking this opportunity can we use this as a solution to relieve our urban spaces?
Fig: 3 - Micro-housing, a solution (Credits-Microtopia)
These nomads rely heavily on technology for travel, before, during and also after it. They have unconsciously blurred the boundary between working and living. Homes and offices have started resembling mountains and travel hostels.
Is there a better option for people who want to continue their daily grind from any place they want? Can we design something that can make their life more flexible?
With this increasing community of digital nomads, the next generation is also expected to follow the lifestyle. So, can this be an opportunity to retain the nomadic lifestyle of our ancestors and reduce the pressure on our urban systems?
Brief: The aim is to design a nomad-pod for mobile living. Develop furniture concepts and tools for a generation to make them feel at home in any corner of the globe.
Working: Defining mobile + static + built states for the habitat.
Material: Design with materials that would make the pod easy to move.
Functions: Defining essential functions and lifestyle for an individual.
Resilient: Optimize it for survival in various conditions.
The following objectives are qualitative factors to conceive the design. Participants are free to play with the function after defining the basics: Eating, sleeping and sanitation.
In Mobile State: Maximum permissible covered area should be 10 sq. mt with minimum corresponding volume, excluding the operational area required for moving it.
In Static State: Total covered area used for stretchability/expandability should not exceed 50% of 10 sq. mt.