WikiHouse is an Open Source construction system. It makes possible for anyone to design, download, adapt, share and ‘print’ high-performance, low-cost houses that they can assemble by hand.

How I learned to stop worrying and love Open Source

"Each new situation requires a new architecture." - Jean Nouvel

Nouvel mused this notion when discussing the plans for the One New Change complex which opened 2 years ago in London. This quote opens up an interesting discourse that many young architects like myself question. “Into what new situations are we entering? How can architecture innovate using emerging technologies? What can we look too for inspiration?”

Throughout my architectural education I have been given the Bauhaus as an example of a movement which innovated creatively with the technologies that emerged within it’s era. Not bound by the traditional educational systems of design from earlier years segregating the arts into individual courses. The Bauhaus encouraged a holistic knowledge of the arts into their teachings, and in particular to include mass production techniques be part of any project design process. It was a school very much of its age, it focused on different ways in which the world should be rethought. Most importantly of all, the Bauhaus established an outlet for innovation and implementation for the design and art community, helping many people discover new progressive ideals to dream of a better tomorrow. When I look to see what is available to my generation, I don’t see many if not any outlet quite as accessible or inspiring as the Bauhaus.

After being turned to a TED lecture by Alaistair Parvin and after a quick conversation with him, I understood and saw what I perceive as the next great leap (or potentially todays version of the Bauhaus) - open-source design. No longer held as an ideal seen by IKEA executives, Wikihouse dreams up a scenario in which you can create your own home, and it not just be affordable and time efficient, but personal and customizable. Breaking barriers which traditionally held the architect profession so highly is being torn down into its basics and potentially accessible to anyone.

One look around the London Design Museums exhibition "The Future is Here" shows great encouragement to not just Wikihouse’s ideas but to the potential of open source in any design and personal context. I couldn’t help but feel this was a continuation of what the Bauhaus’s principles once offered. This new design revolution as quoted by the exhibit, gives power to the individual concerning their daily lives. Examples on show at the exhibition, of course were Wikihouse (pictures shown below) but also Open Desk and many other innovative practices looking into a possibility of incorporating our modern age technology (network connectivity, 3D printing, smart materials, etc.) with convenience and personal customization. The exhibit shows that this movement, still in its infancy has a lot of questions to ask, however, what a wonderful step towards a future that could provide such audacious options to allow people to dream up and design anything they would like. What exciting times lie ahead for the potential of technological development and prosumer possibilities, I for one am looking forward to writing and watching this “revolution” develop.

WikiHouse from 00:/ on Vimeo.

A nice video introduction to WikiHouse for anyone new to the platform… If you would like to get involved then please join the WikiHouse Open Challenge and get in touch via the website.

WikiHouse NZ The model and some presentation materials at the SHAC sustainable housing two-day workshop at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology where we picked up an award for WikiHouse NZ (from SHAC which is organised by Tim Bishop of Otago Polytechnic)

WikiHouse NZ The WikiHouse initial model inside the STIC/EXPAN building - office to the 5-year project at Canterbury University for large-scale seismically resistant wood framed buildings. That’s Robert Finch (CEO) plus Danny Squires.   High-res

WikiHouse NZ The WikiHouse initial model inside the STIC/EXPAN building - office to the 5-year project at Canterbury University for large-scale seismically resistant wood framed buildings. That’s Robert Finch (CEO) plus Danny Squires.

WikiHouse NZ Release Notes

PAW_wikihouse_longspan1.0 | release notes:

Specification

  • 4.8m x 3.6m internal area total 17.3m2

  • Frame: approx 63 sheets with default Ruby-script nesting.

Design Intent/ Parameters

  • Grid span between walls measured on internal grid of 1200mm multiples (represents departure from current WikiHouse ‘guide for designers’).

  • Gauge of fins increased to 1200mm (represents departure from current WikiHouse ‘guide for designers’).

    • This is maximum gauge permitted by standard 2.4m sheets – but piercings which cut through fins may possibly use box-section primary connectors – see note below)

  • The two leaves of each fin are now separated by a spacer to form 200mm x 90mm box section - to improve span capabilities and ease construction of two and three storey structures.

    • Current span in this model is based on 4800mm internal wall-wall dimension (represents a 1600mm increase in span over existing C Series WikiHouse ‘guide for designers’).

    • Looking to span 6000mm – 7200mm in next iterations.

    • Moves scarf joints away from connector fixings again and offsets each one - as in original WikiHouse designs.

    • Flat face on spacers in box section potentially offer easier mounting for internal panels/fixtures plus external cladding

    • Also channels for wiring provided by inset of box section spacer from fin edge

  • Grid span between walls measured on internal grid of 1200mm multiples (represents departure from current WikiHouse ‘guide for designers’).

  • Model also assumes no doubling up of 200mm fin depth where sections butt in larger structures (represents departure from current WikiHouse ‘guide for designers’)

  • Connectors between fins turned 90 degrees in the roof - may raise possible issue around localised cupping of the profile section around this joint over time, removes requirement for number of piercings

  • Would potentially permit moving primary connectors to face of internal/external walls (not currently shown in this model) since no longer performing a structural as they are shown currently - given that either internal/external or both internal and external cladding provide both longitudinal box section structure and also function to provide required lateral and cross-bracing. However, better approach may be to use diagonal strip or cable bracing to compliment box-section primary connectors within the walls – and flush external connectors could double as cills or lintols (which may make a lot of sense – especially if you require larger piercings than the current 1200mm gauge would permit – PLUS would permit more flexibility in choice of internal/external cladding which would no longer be required to provide longitudinal and cross-bracing so could be lighter and easier to style… - on this note worth considering that a lot of sheet stuff like that used by F3 in Box now goes to 2.7m – this would also include meeting fire requirements) AND also give significantly much more depth than current system for lintols in particular AND double as mounting for cladding (triple bottom line)

  • Design increases volume enclosed by same material as the older designs – with slightly more parts, but pretty much same cutting

  • Design assumes CNC router can cut to edge of sheets (represents departure from current WikiHouse ‘guide for designers’)

Known Issues

  • Insufficient connectors in floor to provide required support for flooring

  • Could eliminate pegged tabs in fin spacers adjacent to primary connectors – or use these instead for mounting panelling/cladding?

  • Some weakness around sidewall connectors where they coincide with tabs on the fin box-section spacers

  • Sidewall cladding panels should run horizontally and not vertically to permit offset (as in floor and ceiling/roof) to provide maximum longitudinal strength and cross-bracing.

  • Pegs are modelled full length for connecting box section spacers – but don’t lock in place (could save some materials and cutting time)

  • Pegs on primary connectors aren’t extended to lock off against panelling (but then may need some other form of securing against tendency to work loose – especially in inverted pegs on roof – e.g. woodscrew through end to fix?)

  • Pegs export to (svg) cutting sheets. (dxf : unknown)

  • Panels export to (svg) cutting sheets.

Click here to view full size.
With WikiHouse Rio recently being awarded the TED Prize, as part of the City 2.0 project, now seems like a perfect moment to take note of the WikiHouse project so far, where it’s come from, and the full scale of the team who have worked on it and supported it.
So in that spirit, we’ve put together this poster of the WikiHouse Version Map, which shows all of that, and also spells out what we think are the next big goals / milestones in the project. As ever – if you think you can help achieve them, or would like to support the development of the project, please get in touch.
Download the PDF here. The poster is, of course, shared under a Creative Commons license, so you’re free to share it / print it / sell copies as wallpaper, with attribution.
Our huge thanks to all those who have brought the project this far.
-AP

Click here to view full size.

With WikiHouse Rio recently being awarded the TED Prize, as part of the City 2.0 project, now seems like a perfect moment to take note of the WikiHouse project so far, where it’s come from, and the full scale of the team who have worked on it and supported it.

So in that spirit, we’ve put together this poster of the WikiHouse Version Map, which shows all of that, and also spells out what we think are the next big goals / milestones in the project. As ever – if you think you can help achieve them, or would like to support the development of the project, please get in touch.

Download the PDF here. The poster is, of course, shared under a Creative Commons license, so you’re free to share it / print it / sell copies as wallpaper, with attribution.

Our huge thanks to all those who have brought the project this far.

-AP

Uploading models to WikiHouse.cc

We know a few people have had issues uploading models to WikiHouse.cc, either through technical issues or because people don’t have (and possibly don’t want!) a Google account. If that’s you, please don’t let it stop you sharing your work - just email models, ideas, scripts, drawings.. or anything.. to hello@wikihouse.cc. 

Best, Team WikiHouse.