The best entertainment system we've seen in a tiny home: The Caravan Obscura

kids with boxes on their heads outside caravan obscura
© Caravan Obscura

We love trailers and tiny houses, and often see them with big TVs and entertainment centers. Now Alex at Shedworking points us to the best combination of entertainment and trailer we have seen yet: The Caravan Obscura. (The British call trailers Caravans) It's part of a project by artist Kenny Bean, along with those boxes on the kids' heads in the photo, which are explained thusly:

This project was inspired by the legendary experiment by scientist Ivo Kohler who wore goggles that made him see the world upside down. He wore the special glasses for four weeks in total. Initially he bumped into everything and couldn't even hold a cup of tea correctly. After several days his brain had re-corrected the image that was coming from his eyes and he could see as normal and within a week he was riding his bike to work.

ceiling of camera obscura © Camera Obscura

After taking the box off your head, you might need to lie down for a while; so you can go inside the caravan obscura and see images of the surroundings projected on the ceiling. It evidently is not a new idea:

old camera obscuraa Victorian bathing machine converted to a camera obscura./Public Domain

In Victorian times, Camera Obscura buildings were common on many British beach fronts and were visited by thousands of people each year as an attraction. Several enterprising Victorians even created camera obscuras inside old wagons and toured the country amazing people with the ethereal images projected inside. The Caravan Obscura uses mirrors and lenses to project the landscape outside onto the ceiling of the caravan. It is a very simple idea but the effect is almost magical.

Caravan obscura exterior© Caravan Obscura

I wonder if this might not have greater possibilities. We have noted many times that windows are a big source of heat loss and heat gain; in Passive houses in particular, the windows are expensive and are usually limited in size. Perhaps we should replace them with little lenses and project the image of the outdoors instead of looking at it. Stay inside and after a few days the images will look right side up.

eye pod© Cermak Rhoades

This was done a few years ago by Cermak Rhoades Architects in the Eye Pod, A beautiful little building with no glazing at all. It could be the new model for energy efficiency.

Tags: Less Is More | Scotland

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