The Reconfigurable House takes a lo-tech jab at hi-tech “smart homes”, whose not-so-smart design isn’t able to adapt over time. You won’t get stuck with outdated components in this protobungalow, as it can be easily and cheaply modified even by electronics novices. Just don’t neglect your adobe, for if the house gets bored it will reconfigure itself.
Even further down the low tech ladder are the eco-friendly bamboo louvres that give this skinny Spanish building respite from the sun—and exorbitant air conditioning bills. Residents of this Foreign Office Architects invention can customize the placement of the louvres, creating “the possibility of a differentiated appearance of the units so that inhabitants would have the opportunity to acquire some form of personal identification with their residences.” (Treehugger)
More energy-conscious architecure can be found at the Canadian Centre for Architecture—my personal favourite museum in Montreal—which launched Sorry, Out of Gas, a microsite related to its current major exhibition of the same name. Designed to make the exhibition content available to a broader international public, the site features some of the most innovative architectural projects and research triggered by the 1973 energy crisis.
(Photo: Carabanchel Housing, Foreign Office Architects.)