May 5, 2011

Dwell On This

Is it actually possible to design an entire house for less than it costs to stay one single night at a luxurious five star hotel? Well, the folks over at $300 House think the answer is “yes” and they’re calling on designers and architects around the globe to submit designs for its $300 House Challenge.

If you thought designing a “simple” dwelling for less than $300 was a daunting task, keep in mind that your plan must also adhere to a long list of requirements including that it cannot be smaller than 2.2m X 2.2.m; must have space to sleep and cook, have access to light, drinking water, and electricity; be constructed with material that will resist the elements for 50+ years; be secure from animals and criminal elements; and be resistant to fire, storms, earthquakes and other natural disasters. It does NOT, however, need its own sanitation system. That, thank goodness (for the designers, not the incoming occupants), will be housed in a nearby communal facility.

You’ve got less than three weeks (May 26) to enter your innovative idea against some very stiff competition including “huff'n'puff,” “Tuck India Team,” “WIGWAM,” "iBrick," and “woody-hoody." Ever a champion of diligence, I’ve actually scanned some of the recent
entries and am absolutely astounded by (and quite jealous of) the habitations on offer.

The grand-prize winner – selected by the online community and an expert panel of judges - will receive $25,000 cash and have the chance to actually build their $300 creation during a two-week workshop in rural Alabama this June.

Click
here if you think you’ve got the chops to create an affordable housing solution for the roughly two billion people living in adverse poverty. Two billion!

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