06 February 2009

Tent as a solution

Tents can be a solution. Nomads were very sustainable living people. There are different research questions about tents:

How to adept tents to our current building requirements.

What is the most efficient shape and structure for a tents for dwelling in the netherlands.

How to integrate windows in tent structures.


  1. Hi Tjibbe,

    your approach to sustainability through adaptable and/or moveable structures could become a research question, but i think it would have to really look at the factors involved beyond a design solution to the problem such as a tent. For instance I doubt nomads exist traditionally in such densely inhabited environments as the Netherlands and whether their live style is sustainable is also not clear to me. I think a major reason traditional nomads do/did move around a lot is because they rapidly depleted the natural resources around them forcing them to move on which was only possible if the same areas were not visited too frequently hence requiring a much larger area per person then farmers and livestock raising people.
    So isolating the tent as an instrument of sustainabilty from its original nomadic context may render it meaningless without defining lifestyle and the environment it would be operated in.
    It may also be a question of standards, reducing the energy consumption being one way to measure improvement towards sustainable living (you should identify how you would evaluate it) so living in an unheated tent without bathroom and a fraction of the floor area of an apartment maybe an improvement but is it comparable in terms of comfort? If it is offering similar comfort levels and trucked around frequently is it still competitive with a fixed efficient dense infrastructure where the users are switching house but the building stays in place?

    Looking at the data that was gathered from the temporary housing of the faculty of architecture in the tents last summer with respect to comfort maybe a good starting point and something to improve upon.

    So basically I recommend to not focus on the tent as the starting point but the tent as a possible answer to your research question of whether sustainability can be achieved through adaptable/moveable structures.


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