A Circular Home
As we move through life, our habits, needs and wants changes. Life is not static.
Our homes should not be either.
Time as a design factor. The system offers flexibility for the homeowner / tenant to update and reconfigure the home environment to support household changes and life events — effectively turning the resident into a designer of her his own space and regarding time as a key design parameter. As a product-service system, Plug & Dwell lends itself to different revenue models — from leasing and subscription models to production models — depending on the segment of end user.
Each year, one in six US dwellers move. These 50 million people are dealing with complex, expensive, and often emotionally challenging circumstances. Plug & Dwell intends to make these transitions as effortless as possible. Moving from a compact New York studio apartment to a spacious Lisbon loft? The existing P&D assembly kit is disassembled and returned to the local NYC Plug & Dwell center, while a new kit — specified and configured by the tenant and the local Lisbon Plug & Dwell team — is installed in the new apartment in a matter of days. This eliminates any need for expensive and energy-intensive transportation and ensures that the kit-of-parts in each location complies with local regulations and building codes.
As one move through different chapters of life, the modular system can be updated and reconfigured to support changing needs and wants.
The porosity of the assembly gives it a lantern-like quality at night time. The glowing appearance accentuates its soft character and illuminates its adjacent spaces.
The P&D assemblies can accommodate a range of different household typologies and be customized to meet tenant's functional, spatial, and aesthetic preferences.
The way we build our homes has remained largely unchanged. Most homes are still built on-site, using light-frame construction, hammer and nails. The process requires architects, engineers, consultants, suppliers, contractors, and subcontractors. This fragmentation results in a complex, expensive, and lengthy building process. Plug & Dwell proposes to bring all disciplines together into one place, and move the manufacturing off-site to a controlled environment — drastically shortening lead-time and lowering cost.
While traditional construction practices have a distinct tradeoff between variety and cost, emerging fabrication and material technologies blurs this trade-off, allowing for a high degree of diversity and customization within the assembly line, while keeping cost and lead-time to a minimum. By embedding flexibility into the individual module, the P&D catalogue has extensive system range, allowing the kit to conform to any given ‘host space’.
Procedural daylight analysis of the existing space guides the distribution and organization of modules.
..In conjunction with additional contextual analysis (evaluating factors such as noise levels and degree of access), the system has a comprehensive basis for design.
The adjustable louver system allows the P&D assembly to gently break down the overall space into zones and rooms for different activities with different atmospheres.
The modules can easily be assembled by a few people. Mortise and tenon joints enable the modules to snap together with minimal use of fasteners.
Kit-of-parts. The system is comprised of a limited catalog of modules. This kit-of-parts enables the home-owner / tenant to fit out their ‘host space’ with all required domestic program: bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, etc. The modules offer integrated MEP wiring, as well as plumbing fixtures, kitchen appliances, lighting, furniture, and storage space. The kit makes use of standardized interfaces — allowing a limited number of modules to form a myriad or different assembly configurations. Each module is limited to a 4’ x 4’ 2’ overall dimension and designed to be light-weight enough to be carried and assembled by two people. Using mortise and tenon joints, the modules snap together with minimal use of additional fasteners.
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Our home environment has a profound impact on the quality of our lives. The texture of the floor. The color of the walls. The height of the ceiling. The views to adjacent rooms. The sequence of spaces. All of these factors affect our lives. The home environment influences our well-being and health, the ways we interact with other people, and how we think. It can even have an effect on our sense of self and belonging.
The spaces we live in impact us for better or for worse, yet, there is a distinct disconnect between the inhabitants of residential space and the people who provide and shape residential space. In today’s housing market, the principal driver of development is profit. This entails minimizing construction costs and maximizing iterability in design. As a result, the building industry churns out cookie-cutter offerings – housing schemes with standardized, rigid ideas of what a home is — forcing the inhabitants to accommodate to the space.
Plug & Dwell is a project that seeks to challenge this status quo. The project proposes modularity and mass-customization as means to adapt housing to a volatile, dynamic environment and galvanize housing into a flexible, agile system. The Plug & Dwell system enables the living environment to anticipate and adapt to changing needs and wants, prolong the market relevance and lifespan of the space, and instill resilience into the home. As such, modularization is not merely a practical, cost-saving proposition, but an elegant way of designing change into buildings - facilitating the coexistence of conservation and innovation.
Plug & Dwell
2019 - ongoing
Modular, Housing, Product, Service, Design, Circular, Architecture
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