A design-build project for a non-profit in Utah: a mobile microhouse (less than 150 sq ft) made of CNC-milled plywood. Read more
This project was successfully funded on July 5, 2013.
About this project
This project arose out of a few things: involvement in Design Build Bluff, a love of architecture as a tool, and a desire to live small.
We are architecture students, living and working in Denver. We want to live small. We are questioning the notion of what a house has been in the past and what it needs to be now. We are pursuing opportunities for mobile domesticity. We believe that designing at an appropriate scale offers a responsible solution, socially, environmentally, and financially.
We're calling it FOUNDhouse. It is a 150 square foot house that is easily assembled/disassembled in order to be mobile. Using the WikiHouse structural system as a starting point, we then added things like insulation, sheathing, and solar electricity to make the house fully inhabitable.
The design is ready to be built! Our budget is $5000 and we want to raise as much as we can with your help. The house will be constructed initially at Sustainability Park in Denver during the summer of 2013. We need a place to live while we are in Utah so we will then test it briefly before disassembling and packing it up to take to Bluff. We will re-assemble the house in Bluff and live in it for the semester while we work on the DBB house for a family on the Navajo Nation.
This is where the true test of the house will happen. While living in it, we will collect environmental data to evaluate the performance of the house, and to later make improvements where needed. We have sensors ready and we'll be updating our blog the whole time with notes from the house.
Being open is really important to us, especially with the people who support us, and we want to be active within the collaborative design community. Using the structural system developed by WikiHouse has allowed us to work within a flexible framework. Our own design and any modifications to that system will be open and available to other designers and the public. We think it’s important to be able to collaborate and build upon the work of ourselves and others.
When we get back from Bluff in January, you all will get everything, the plans, the 3D models, the photos, the construction budget, the CNC cut files, all of it.
To start, you can see our budget for the project here. Our Kickstarter goal is just part of the funds needed to get this thing built.
The structure of FOUNDhouse, the CNC-milled plywood is attributed to wikihouse. Our design is a derivative of their system that utilizes the modular grid, fin structure with S-joints and peg or slot connections. We strongly believe in the wikihouse project and support if fully. You can find much more inspiring and educational information at their website. Thank you wikihouse!
We're trying to practice what we teach, and by seeking out this kind of small lifestyle, we can do just that. A smaller, more responsible lifestyle needs to be accessible and functional to be successful. We feel that our experience will contribute to making that a reality.
June 15 - August 15
finish design details / complete construction (Denver)
August 15 - 19
disassemble / move / reassemble house (Bluff)
August 19 - December 12
live in house / collect data
December 13 - January 2014
organize and evaluate data / make adjustments to design / open access to design files
Backer Status: You'll be listed on our website as the first supporters of FOUNDhouse. We want you to know that this couldn't be done without your help!
Digital FOUNDhouse model kit: With these files you'll be able to make your own FOUNDhouse model. Cut it out of thin plywood, matboard or cardboard and follow the assembly instructions. You could even 3D print it.
FOUNDhouse postcard: A hand-printed postcard with a FOUNDhouse graphic. Each postcard will be stamped by hand and signed with a personal note.
Early Access: You'll get access to all our work on FOUNDhouse to date. 3D models, fabrication drawings, etc. Everything you need to start work on your own.
Digital Drawing: A hybrid of hand drawing and digital drawing, this unique piece wants to be on your wall! You'll get a digital copy of the drawing.
Physical Drawing: A physical print of the hybrid drawing. It's beautiful, hang it on the wall, or put it on the fridge, just remember you made our prototype house possible!
Physical Model: We'll laser cut the model out of scrap laser cut materials and send you the flat-packed sheets so you can just pop out the pieces and assemble it right away.
Plywood Sculpture: We'll take the waste space on our CNC-milled plywood sheets and cut you out something awesome. There is a 3-piece design and a 5-piece design. You'll be able to slide the pieces together and display your sculpture with pride!
If you donate $33, this will help us get one sheet of plywood. We need many sheets of plywood to make this possible. By helping us not only will we list you on our site, we'll inscribe your name in the plywood structure with the CNC. We'll send you a postcard, the hybrid drawing and a model kit and you'll get early access to the project files. We think you're the best for pledging to buy us wood!
Risks and challenges
The difference between the drawing board and the construction site. We have limited experience building houses, and we understand that there is a big difference between drawing something and actually making it. We’re in this to learn that process and get better at building things that function well and create enjoyable living space.
It’s a prototype. We think we’ve designed it to be comfortable but it could be a drafty semester in Bluff. Our living experience is unknown, but thats the point of the prototype. We’ll be able to use our experiences (good and bad) to improve the design for future iterations.
We’ve learned a lot about fabrication in school but we’re not experts, so we hope we’ll be working with some. We are busy talking to shops in Colorado with 4’ x 8’ CNC routers (if you know someone, let us know!)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
Pledge $1 or more
A digital high five. As a thanks for backing our project we’ll send you a digital high five complete with a link to your name on our website support section.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5 or more
Above plus a Digital FOUNDhouse model kit. You’ll get the laser cutting files and instructions to make your own FOUNDhouse model (4” x 8” x 3”).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $7 or more
All of the above plus a hand-printed postcard with a FOUNDhouse graphic and a hand-written note sent to your address.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $10 or more
EARLY ACCESS: All of the above plus you’ll gain access to all of our work as we progress through the final stages of design and construction. We want your feedback!Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $20 or more
DIGITAL DRAWING: All of the above and a hi-res digital copy of a hybrid (hand and digital drawing) technique drawing.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $33 or more
PLYWOOD DONOR: All of the above and we’ll send you a laser cut model and instructions for assembling (it’s easier than the full scale!) (4” x 8” x 3”) with a limited print of the hybrid drawing (6" x 10") We'll also inscribe your name in the structure of the house with the CNC and send you a picture.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $50 or more
All of the above plus a plywood sculptural piece. We’ll send you a 3-piece sculpture from the scrap plywood we generate while cutting the FOUNDhouse.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $75 or more
All of the above plus a plywood sculptural piece. We’ll send you a 5-piece sculpture from the scrap plywood we generate while cutting the FOUNDhouse.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
- (14 days)