Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Sleeping box

As part of my exploration of sustainability ideas, I'm contemplating what the minimal requirements for human shelter might be. When I'm camping, I don't need a house. I just need a sleeping bag and a tent. However, if you were sleeping in an urban environment and needed protection from other people as well as from the elements, you would need a solid shelter that could be closed off from the outside. If you were family, you would want to be able to link the shelters together.

For sustainability reasons, the shelter should be as small and inexpensive as possible (least footprint). Perhaps it should also be portable.

What is the smallest, simplest possible (adequate) shelter? What needs must a human shelter meet to be considered adequate? What additional features must it have to provide some minimal comfort?


At 11:49 AM, Blogger RomeHater said...

By living criteria alone, the best solution would be a house built as a basement. Putting all the living space 10-15 feet underground would moderate the temperatures all year and put less stress on heating and cooling. It might not be portable, but you could lift off the roof and backfill it with dirt to name it reusable as land.

In an urban setting, you could get down to the Japanese hotels where visitors sleep in a drawer. The problem with packing people in like sardines is that more food and water and sewage and garbage and products have to be shipped to and from the city along greater distances.

At 9:51 AM, Blogger John Markos O'Neill said...

My idea really isn't very well articulated, is it? No, I don't want everyone to live in refrigerator boxes. I'm trying to figure out what the lowest possible footprint for adequate, even comfortable footprint might be. However, this is a theoretical exercise. I certainly don't advocate destroying existing housing. However, many architects and builders may have not had ecological footprint in mind when creating housing in the past. The point is not to force anyone into a particular design but rather to encourage consideration of footprint as a guiding principle.

At 9:29 AM, Blogger John Markos O'Neill said...

Whaddya know? I'm not the only one mulling over this problem. Some people have actually done something about it. "The SHRIMP (Sustainable Housing for Refugees via Mass Production) is an attempt to bring housing and other relief to large displaced or homeless populations, especially those who have suffered in a natural disaster."

At 12:02 PM, Blogger John Markos O'Neill said...

Dave Pollard at "How to Save the World" has started a dialogue on the idea of a wearable home.

I admit it -- that's a better idea than the sleeping box!

At 12:58 AM, Blogger donatillo said...

I was thinking of the same thing ! and went on line to see who is doing the exact thing ! I am an Artist and love to make ideas work. I came up with a small kit home that folds up.


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