Mobile Living: The Unicat


When designing a LifeEdited, there is a lot to learn from boats, trailers and RV about how to live in small spaces.

There is great appeal to the idea living in efficient small spaces and to not being tied down to real estate; that is why we like the minihome or the portabach or container housing. But just as there is as Mercedes can make a Smart Car and a Maybach, there can be a range in mobile living from the light and green to the extreme. This may well be the Hummer of mobile living, the Unicat.

This baby is built on a Mercedes Unimog chassis, monster trucks designed for offroad use and for military vehicles. (it was the chassis for the


Get to your destination and pop up the roof:


and make yourself at home.


I love the integration of the electronics into the spiral stair.


The kitchen is nicer in the Minihome but this isn't bad.


The bath is tiny and boat/rv style with the whole room being the shower, but it has the luxury of a heated towel bar.


It is nice in blue too, but it is not very green, it is the hummer of mobile living. However there are lots of interesting ideas for living in small space. ::Unicat via ::Snopes See also the Terracross
More on Mobile Living

BOB rendering image

Andrew Maynard knows prefab, and that the next step is adding mobility to the mix. Buro North and Andrew Maynard have whipped up this:

"BOB is a hybrid home of the future, a mobile living tool for tomorrows generation of nomadic wanderers. Somewhere between a tent, a house and a Winnebago, BOB explores the relationship between the basic human requirements of travel and shelter." BOB Gets Around: Andrew Maynard's Mobile Home
They don't have to be big; Toyota came up with this 35 years ago:

toyota popup RV image

With more and more Americans having to sleep in their cars, it is too bad that Toyota never put this into production. 1973: Toyota Station Wagon Turns into RV
Some are fantasies.

gmc pad image

"The GMC PAD, an urban loft with mobility, a concept for living in the ever-changing cultural landscape of Southern California or, quite simply, a modern alternative for those priced out of Southern California's escalating housing market. It's a home ownership concept that enables cultural & geographic freedom for the modern city dweller. It's a concept that represents a reasoned solution to the problems of urban sprawl, development, and it's damaging effects on the region's environment." GMC PAD- The Mobile Loft

nissan mobile office image

Fixed offices are so 20th century when TreeHuggers have to be everywhere at once. That is why we so happy about the new Nissan NV200, which combines storage and usable interior space by pulling the interior out like a drawer when stopped, so that it is efficient and small while travelling, but gets good access to tools and great interior space when stopped. Instead of having to go back to the office to do our post, we can do it right on site, saving lots of time and fuel. Here it is set up for one of our famous underwater shoots, with all the camera and scuba gear at the ready. Nissan's New Mobile Office Just Perfect for TreeHuggers
Others build monster trucks that demonstrate the flaws- big, expensive and sucking fuel.

livingbe exterior image

Living combines the best of an RV (easily mobile) with the efficiency of a popup camper (folds down for less wind resistance) and the comfort of a multistorey townhouse. It even has a hot-tub sized bath on the upper level.

livingbe interior photo

it appears to be built with an aluminum frame, while the pop-up is made from an insulated, quilted fabric much like a duvet. The rigid roof hinges up to create lots of space and includes two big walk-out sized velux-type skylights. Living Is .Be Whatever That Means

buffalino image

Many people around the world are experimenting with living in smaller spaces; some are living in recreational vehicles, but they tend to be larger and consume a lot of gas. German designer Cornelius Comanns has converted a Piaggio APE 50 three-wheeled delivery vehicle, a cheap and fuel efficient platform. Buffalino: Squeezing A Lot Into A Tiny RV

japanese expanding trailer

When one designs a boat, trailer, mobile home or RV, it can be fabulous test-beds for designers to show how one can live with less space, how to squeeze every cubic inch out. They also have to deal with many restrictions in weight, shape and dimension. They can also challenge our assumption that we have to live in a fixed location, when one might have a smaller footprint if we lived in smaller spaces and were not so tied down.

The "two-storey campingcar" built by three Japanese students is full of clever ideas, and a great demonstration of how to get more out of less. Tiny Transformer RV Camper Turns From Truck To Two Storey House
Supertramp: Microsized Mobile Living Concept
BOB Gets Around: Andrew Maynard's Mobile Home
Buffalino: Squeezing A Lot Into A Tiny RV

Mobile Living: The Unicat
There is great appeal to the idea living in efficient small spaces and to not being tied down to real estate; that is why we like the