August 26, 2011

Wiki House

Have you heard of Wiki House? It’s absolutely fabulous.
From designing a house to an ancillary building this concept could revolutionize the D-I-Y craze. WikiHouse is an Open Community Construction Set. It’s a set of parts. Think of Lego’s or an erector set. You customize the solution, and create a design that meets your personal programmatic needs. Building plans are downloaded free. This group of collaborative designers who have developed the system, have made great design accessible and affordable to all. It empowers each one of us to build with our own hands, with or without knowledge of traditional construction methods. It certainly is applicable on my property. Imagine the possibilities in countries where homes and community buildings are not affordable. Flat pack homes arrive and community members can join together, as in the days of a barn raising, to personally impact and improve their environment without specialized skills or power tools. Very cool.  Watch a video of the prototype being built here.

So, are you ready to get started?
Download houses and components which are created and shared by an open community of designers from around the world. Individual parts can be combined or adapted using the free program Google Sketchup.

Click ‘Make this House’ from within Google Sketchup and WikiHouse generates a complete set of milling drawings from your model, which can be used by a CNC cutter to fabricate the house parts.

The parts are cut by a CNC mill using locally-sourced material. This is 18mm plywood, in the standard sheet size of 2440mm x 1220mm (8′ x 4′).

Set out the parts for each section onto the ground, assembling it like a double-layered jigsaw. You won’t need any power tools. Bolt together the two layers to form a single section. Invite friends and family to help with the barn-raising! Stand the sections up vertically, positioning them approximately at 600mm intervals. Use the primary connectors to stabilize the structure. Fit the secondary connectors into the slots in the section. These should be staggered alternately. Use the mallet provided on the milling sheets to hammer these into place. Fit the internal and external cladding panels onto the structure. Internally these usually need to be screwed into place. The structure is ready for insulation, cladding, sealing, and services.

“WikiHouse is a contribution to the debate on Open Hardware and Open Design by 00:/, Momentum Engineering, Espians, Beatrice Galilee… and a global community of designers, including YOU!  WikiHouse will be shared via a Creative Commons license for anyone to adapt and improve. A WikiHouse is fabricated from locally sourced plywood cut on a CNC mill from openly shared template files, and assembled with minimal skill by local people. The first WikiHouse will be constructed in South Korea at the Gwangju Design Biennale 2011. We are now looking for architects, furniture designers, product designers, craftsmen, and makers from around the world who are interested in contributing to the WikiHouse process. If that’s you then please drop us an line on!”

All images and excerpts found at the project website:




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