December 14 2011

The Foldable House Saves Space

Houses are space consuming by nature. An average house in the United States is 2,700 square feet. Assuming there are 131,704,730 houses in the nation, a total of 355,602,771,000 square feet (12,755 square miles, appox. 113 miles square) that is spent on housing. This is square footage that is only used part-time and so, like a futon, would be much more efficient if it could be something else at times.

The foldable house is possible. And in addition to being able to be dissembled and reassembled rapidly, it saves a lot of space. It’s true and here are three examples:

If housing could be folded, even in half, it would free up close to 6,377 square miles in the United States alone. These could be part-time parklands or gardens, especially if the house has natural siding to begin with. In this case, a green wall will become a green ground. It would be a difficult task to achieve, true, but what problem has engineering not achieved when efforts were properly focused? Humans solve problems, and the foldable house is just another problem along the line.

Though the foldable house is more useful in more densely populated area of the world, it would still serve a purpose wherever it were found. Like a futon is designed to save space, no matter where it is found, this new house do the same. For example, I leave and go to classes, Monday thru Friday, for many hours. What other use does my house serve than to store all my stuff while I am away? So, if somehow all of my stuff could still allow my house to fold away, it could serve as a flat place where other events could occur.

The foldable house could be especially useful in densely packed places. Imagine, New York, if a large portion of the city that could be folded flat on demand. This is slightly out of the scope of this writing, since I am referring primarily to single-family low-density development, so it is just food for thought. The single family house could be built on a very small lot, since it is only being used part of the day. Back to the futon: Think of a futon on the scale of a house and the yard as being a small studio space. When the futon transforms into a couch, a lot of space is freed up in the studio. A similar thing would happen when the house turns into part of the lawn. It would only be used for half of the day, the other half an entire sprawling suburban development could become a treasured landscape!

What applications other than housing, could foldable objects embody? How many other processes could benefit from the ideas of “foldable?”

Jeff P Jilek

Jeff Jilek has earned a B.S. in Architecture with a Minor in City & Regional Planning from the Ohio State University. He has been involved with architecture since his junior year of High School when he attended Eastland Career Center’s Architecture program. Sustainable Design is something that he is most interested in but also has taken many college level courses in psychology, political science, and philosophy. He will be attends Arizona State University for continuing education. He is pursuing both his M.B.A and Master of Architecture degrees. He blogged about pertinent issues in design and how design relates to global dynamics, culture, and economy.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 14th, 2011 at 9:06 pm and is filed under Architecture, Community/Economic Development, Engineering, Environmental Design, Housing, Infrastructure, Land Use, Landscape Architecture, Technology, Urban Development/Real Estate. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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