Could you imagine living in a movable, collapsible home like this one? The modular Flock House by artist Mary Mattingly popped up in Battery Park last week, and challenges passersby to envision what life could be like if humanity got back to its nomadic roots. The project took residence at the lower Manhattan park as part of the River to River Festival this summer, and showcases some of the home's features such as the ability to be self-sufficient or conversely, to be parasitic and feed off of another building's power. If you're in the area, we encourage you to go check out these fascinating habitats!
Mattingly’s Flock Houses are a cross between a tent and geodesic dome, and are currently camped out in a field near the Bowling Green subway station at Battery Park. The orb-like structures were designed to exist on their own, or be merged with other Flock Houses, a reaction to the reimagined future of urban space. With the rise of the world population, Mattingly imagines a time when urban growth will spiral out of control, and thus the modular and adjustable Flock Houses seem to be a viable solution.
The pod-like Flock Houses can go beyond attaching to one another – they can attach themselves to city buildings, siphoning their heat, utilities or energy like a parasite. The Flock Houses can also subsist on their own, collecting rain water, growing a canopy of edible plants, and deriving power from solar panels and human sources.
But Mattingly doesn’t intend for the Flock Houses to be completely autonomous- with a stone soup mentality, each Flock House benefits by joining with the next and sharing resources- a lesson Mattingly hopes the future will bring.
To practice what she preaches, Mattingly has lived in a Flock House herself, and others have used them as studios under the Manhattan Bridge, before they were transported to Battery Park to appear as part of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s River to River Festival.