Many designers have been embracing the trend toward smaller living spaces for densely-populated urban environments. Students at 3M futureLAB, a collaboration between the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design and the University of Huddersfield in Munich, Germany, worked with other international students to explore the idea of creating a small, portable home. The project was directed by professor and architect Peter Ebner.
The students designed a cost-effective compact home created through 3D printing. The design of the Small Transportable Living house is inspired by other micro housing designs, such as Renzo Piano’s Diogene and Richard Horden and the Munich Technical Institute’s M-ch.
The Small Transportable Living house includes a bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. Its dome-like shape allowed the team to integrate movable furniture, such as a “folding” toilet that can retract into a wall when not needed, a movable kitchen countertop and sink, a small refrigerator, and a study table. A foldaway ladder provides access to the elevated bedroom. The micro house contains storage spaces, including some hidden in the floor. An Oculus window provides light and fresh air, and the interior is lit with overhead lamps and LED lights. Most of the wall space opposite the bedroom is taken up by a multimedia system with a projection screen.
The portable shelter is constructed with two 3D-printed shell halves and measures about 50 square feet. It was printed with sand-based plastic and special glue by 3M futureLAB and Voxeljet in Bavaria, Germany. The 3D printed house can be transported and installed in any type of environment.
FutureLAB is a non-profit interdisciplinary forum sponsored by 3M. It serves as an alternative to traditional studios and encourages people from the worlds of art, architecture, engineering, and manufacturing to collaborate and develop innovative designs.