Monday, July 30, 2007

Urbanising the Mobile Homeless to Ownless

Now here's an interesting feature on a project that seeks to urbanise the homeless with newly designed 'mobile homes' that are very much a re-designed home-on-wheels (see picture above)

Suptopia - in 'Re-urbanizing the Homeless' - examines this project and has something to say on it:

Geotectura, the Israeli firm who designed the compact housing vehicle, implies this is a solution for the urban environment, and builds upon the psychological notion that a person can positively start from scratch in life, with nothing, and therefore exist in this space with a certain political environmental conscientiousness in mind. The two designers, Joseph Cory and Jacob Eichbaum say:

The Ownless unit is transforming the homeless terminology into a hopeful term. On the same tone of the modernist sentence: less is more the Ownless unit is declaring that less is home. And indeed - why not consume less if we can maintain the basic needs and freedom of mankind. Ownless unit is first and foremost a psychological state of mind saying that being in this situation is not the end of the world but rather adjusting with optimistic approach to a new situation. You can restart from nothing and build yourself again by hanging onto the important values and letting go the wasteful style of living.

Granted, the design is pretty cool. It has a pull out bed, special outer advertisement space for potentially making money, adequate storage space, lamps and lights, a hitch that allows it to be pulled by other vehicles; it allegedly provides security (though I wonder how these mobile cubicles on the street all the time can really be expected to be secure); the rooftop is lined with photovoltaic cells that charge batteries so it is not only pedal-driven but can move as a non-polluting vehicle, as well. It’s nifty, to be sure! But I am not sure that homeless people need nifty.

Mmm... undecided on this one...


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