We can follow Charles Eames‘ idea of design which is about providing the best for the most for the least – or we can look at the German Bauhaus with its modernistvision of functional, affordable housing and furniture: Time and again architects and designers have assigned the social aspect a prominent place in their work and to the present this issue has lost none of its relevance.
Berlin based architect and designer Van Bo Le-Mentzel might even say the social dimension has become more important than ever with societies facing growing income inequality and especially young people being exposed to volatile living and working environments. Taking reference to the idea of high quality aesthetic furniture and multi functional interiors combined with an approach of DIY and sustainability he developed a series of chairs, tables, and lounges that have turned out to strike the tune with a large crowd of creative and reflective people who want to live and think off the beaten path.
One example for truly intrepid dwelling is Van Bo Le’s One Square Meter House – it can be used as mobile kiosk, as extra room inside an apartment or as movable micro-home. The wooden frame can be put together with a cordless screwdriver and saw. The waterproof exterior features a slide window and lockable door.
Weighing in at 40 kilograms, the gabled home can be easily moved to the location of the inhabitant’s desire, determining the views and surrounding context. Standing at 2 meters tall, the unit may be turned on its side to double as a perfectly sized bed for impromptu sleeping, with the angled roof forming a comfortable lounge for the back.
Another examples is the Unreal Estate House. „Housing is a human right!’ says Van Bo Le Mentzel and presents his design for a wooden house that can be supported on a simple car trailer. This means that the house, 5 square meters in area and equipped with kitchen, toilet and an overhead sleeping level, can be placed anywhere – as long as there is a parking lot providing enough space.
Le Mentzel believes that also people with little financial means should be able to determine where they live. He says: ‘I know moving the living room onto the street is not a solution, but just imagine the easing to the real estate industry if everyone were able to survive without paying rent.’ Anyway: what makes his car trailer house really unique is that it’s not for sale. If you want one, you have to build it yourself, construction plans are downloadable and available for free!
ART & DESIGN FAIRS
FRIEZE MASTERS 03 OCT/ 06 OCT
FRIEZE LONDON 03 OCT/ 06 OCT
FIAC PARIS17 OCT/ 20 OCT
PARIS PHOTO 07 NOV/ 10 NOV
SCOPE MIAMI 03 DEC/ 08 DEC
DESIGN MIAMI 04 DEC/ 08 DEC
ART BASEL MIAMI 05 DEC/ 08 DEC