With population and housing costs on the rise, coupled with the earth’s finite resources and space, it may be time to rethink how we live. A number of architecture and design firms are beginning to take this reality to heart and create smaller, more efficient dwellings. One such firm is Nice Architects, hailing all the way from Slovakia.
The Nice Architects team has designed the Ecocapsule, a miniature solar and wind powered portable house that enables occupants to live entirely off-grid for up to a year. The dwelling comes equipped with a double bed, a composting toilet, a kitchenette, built-in water filters, and a shower. To provide running water, the Ecocapsule’s spherical shape optimizes dew and rainwater collection if there is not another source of water nearby. It also produces its own energy using solar panels that are embedded in the structure itself and a retractable wind turbine, combined with a battery for those rare times when neither the sun is shining nor the wind blowing. The unit can be towed behind a car on a trailer or transported in a shipping crate, allowing applications ranging from shelter during humanitarian crises to an affordable housing option in cities like New York and San Francisco. The firm is taking pre-orders and will ship the first models out in early 2016.