Do-It-Yourself Mikro House

TreeHugger regulars will know our predisposition towards efficient pre-fab living spaces. With the Mikro House, Sam Buxton has brought the concept to its logical end point. Now we just have to engineer smaller humans. Okay, seriously this is art, not life. But the philosophy encapsulated in the work of British product designer Sam Buxton delivers its message loud and clear: with technology and human imagination, everything is possible.Utilizing micro-etching techniques developed in the electronics industry, Sam Buxton has succeeded to envision a home with kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living room springing out of a thin sheet of steel measuring 325 x 86 mm (13 x 2.5 in) flat. The work was originally produced for the Design Museum in London; in an interview for the Design Museum, Buxton describes his motivations:

"I had an idea to create a complete living unit – a machine for living with all the equipment needed for a home – an idea which I had initially been thinking about as an exhibition stand in laser-cut stainless steel. Not having an opportunity to make it large I decided to make a miniature version using the acid-etching process - I no longer want to make a large one. All elements had to be connected to the sheet but I still wanted the room spaces to be interesting three dimensionally, it was a real challenge to include all the objects and features that a kitchen or living room etc. might have. I wanted people to look at this miniature cube with all these elements folded out and think; I recognise that I could live there."

Some of the life-size exhibition stands created by Buxton suggest that this technique could be adopted in human scale. The dialogue at TreeHugger certainly has the power to advance the limits of design, see for example the comments to Pushing the Envelop. Although Mikro House remains only art (or at 65 british pounds each, a kitschy conversation piece), we offer it in the spirit of inspiration. At a minimum, the pure fascination of imagining a collapsible, fold-out living unit is igniting my modern-nomad fantasies.

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