Decoding Design

WikiHouse: An open source home design and build kit

Posting in Architecture

A London based design and strategy firm wants to make designing and building your own home more possible and affordable. 00:/, the designers, have cre...

A London based design and strategy firm wants to make designing and building your own home more possible and affordable. 00:/, the designers, have created an open source house design and construction kit named WikiHouse. WikiHouse will be open to anyone and everyone via a Creative Commons license.

The entire project from design and construction of a prototype house to concept and building of the website was a collaboration with Momentum Engineering and Espians. 00:/ call their tools for open source design Open Hardware, something they have developed and refined in their open source furniture for various London offices.

The Wikihouse website outlines the simple steps to designing, downloading and constructing your very own house. The basic process includes downloading designs of houses and components from the design community library and using a customized function in Google Sketchup to generate patterns for CNC cutting. The designs can also be altered and customized using Sketchup. The drawings can then be sent to a CNC cutter for fabrication from standard sheets of plywood, normally locally sourced.

Construction of the house is also a straightforward system that does not require power tools. 00:/ designers wanted to simplify the assembly so that the houses could be built without special training or knowledge and minimal tools.

The WikiHouse site is still in progress but 00:/ hope it will include downloadable plugins and templates, a live library of open source designs, and a full design and assembly guide. The goal is to grow the project into a truly open source by encouraging people to download and adapt the initial designs.

The first non-prototype WikiHouse is currently part of the Gwangju Design Biennale 2011 in South Korea. As part of the exhibition, a section of the house will remain unfinished until a design is selected by the open source community via voting on the project website. A video of the prototype assembly can be seen on WikiHouse.cc.

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Sun Kim

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Sun Joo Kim is an architect and creative consultant based in Boston. Her projects include design and master planning of museums, public institutions, hospitals, and university buildings across the U.S. She holds a degree from Carnegie Mellon University and is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure