International practice OPEN Architecture has teamed up with Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi to design MARS Case, a futuristic proposal for Martian living that takes inspiration from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. Designed for easy transportation, the lightweight and compact housing prototype was unveiled to the public for the first time outside the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing as part of China House Vision, a multidisciplinary and experimental platform for ideas about the future of housing. The tiny home combines the principles of zero waste and self-sufficiency in a rejection of modern consumer excess.
When asked to explore new possibilities for the future of housing, OPEN Architecture decided to push the envelope and begin its project with a dystopian premise that envisions humanity forced to settle on Mars. To design a home fit for human habitation on the planet, the architects designed a tiny home that is built on the idea of recycling.
“There, we have no choice but to reduce the excessive consumption of four former lifestyles and carry only minimal essentials,” the firm said. “Recycling will be the only way we survive. As we find new appreciation in every drop of water, every bite of food and every breath of air, will we at last discover the freedom of truly simple living? Is this what we should define as the idea house of the future?”
Measuring 2.4 meters by 2.4 meters by 2 meters, this “ideal” MARS Case house relies heavily on green technology, namely with the integration of domestic appliances in Xiaomi’s current product lines that can be controlled remotely via smartphone. The heat and condensation generated by the electronic devices would be harnessed, filtered and recycled to create an “integrated ecosystem.”
Images by WU Qingshan and Xiaomi