Affordable and sustainable housing for urban, low-income areas is much needed all around the world. In order to improve the overall quality of life in these places, architect Vincent van der Meulen together with Enviu, the Dutch organisation behind the Sustainable Dance Club and the Hybrid Tuk Tuk project, have just launched the Open Source House project, a platform where designers, architects and entrepreneurs can share and work together on ideas for people in need. First initiative: an international design competition for young architects and entrepreneurs worldwide to get involved and share ideas. The challenge: design a sustainable house in an expandable way. The winning design will be tested in a pilot project in Ghana. So far, one of the most interesting aspect that you can find at OS-house, which launched this summer, are the Eight Principles to overcome housing problems in developing countries. One such principle is the fact that the design needs to be embedded in the local culture. Have a look at the Eight Principles, and if you feel inspired, sign up for the challenge and join the OS-House competition. You can also find useful examples and information, such as why ironically, an eco-housing project depends on waste increase. This is the story of Ingrid Vaca's method of using empty bottles to build homes.
All in all, the Open Source House Project is a web-based platform that offers professional designs for affordable, durable, modular and climate-specific houses. We are certainly watching this space. ::OS-House