According to the UN, in 30 years the world’s urban population will increase by more than 2 billion people, and as a consequence, housing prices will rise, homes will get smaller, and informal settlements, such as favelas and townships could become more prolific.
With this in mind Mia Behrens and Johanne Holm-Jensen, two Danish architecture students, came out with a sustainable and innovative solution that could tackle the housing crisis, as explored during their six month residency at SPACE10.
Their idea centred around the issue of how we can keep building prices low: at a material cost of $192 per square meter to be specific. Their solution? They built a micro house made using only one machine and one material: plywood – possibly the most ubiquitous resource in Denmark. The incredible innovation not only lies in the reduced price and convenience of the material, but in the fact that, eventually, anyone anywhere could download the open source design and print their house to the specification of their choosing. The bespoke houses can be tailored to suit many requirements, printed locally and be easily assembled, meaning demand can be met more quickly.
Certainly the solution isn’t a complete one yet, and further development is needed, but the innovation gives hope for a more sustainable future, where housing will be more affordable and modular homes will finally be available to anyone in need.