Office of Mobile Design

Portable House:


Harkening back to original prehistoric models of shelter, which were easily manipulated to accommodate innumerable variables and conditions, the Portable House adapts, relocates and reorients itself to an ever-changing environment. It offers an eco-sensitive and economical alternative to the increasingly expensive permanent structures that constitute many of today’s housing options. The Portable House questions preconceived notions of the trailer home and trailer park. It creates an entirely new option for those with disposable income but insufficient resources for entering the conventional housing market. The Portable House’s mobility, the way it moves across and rests lightly upon the landscape, provides a provocative counterpoint to the status quo housing model. Likewise, it offers flexibility in the socio-dynamics of everyday living, including expandable/contractible spaces and flexibility in grouping units together to create gardens, courtyards, side yards. Whether momentarily positioned in the open landscape, briefly located in an urban space, or situated for a more lengthy stay, the Portable House accommodates a wide range of housing needs and functions.

Mobile Event City:


The Mobile Event City provides an overall upgrade of event facilities for a socially conscious event-planning firm that creates multi-day outdoor charity events in support of AIDS, breast cancer, world hunger, and like causes. The goal is to provide structures for their nightly encampments, that are easily relocatable, adaptable to varying site conditions, climate controlled, clean, well-lit, and visually striking - and that help engender intimate social interaction. Four possible master plan schemes assemble the campsite components into a four-tiered hierarchy, which can then be organized either around a central gathering space (‘Town Square’), along a linear corridor (‘Main Street’), or in a combination thereof. Individual campsite elements, such as Medical Services, Outreach (marketing), Vending Kiosks and the ‘Remembrance Place’ use existing truck types as points of departure, then hybridize them with tensile fabric structures.

These compact, self-contained mobile structures are weather resistant, hygienic, and easy to deploy and relocate. As they unfold, slide open, pivot and pull apart to expand their floor areas, their fabric components take shape to form roofs, walls and overhangs, transforming their host vehicles into unique, wondrous building/machines. Vending Kiosk To facilitate intimate social interaction, the diminutive Vending Kiosks locate/relocate throughout the campsite, offering a variety of ‘comfort foods.’ Two wing-like structures envelop food preparation and storage equipment on the truck bed. When open for business, these wings spread out, unfolding a fabric canopy that instantly creates sheltered gathering space and becomes a recognizable iconographic presence in the camp landscape. Condiments, utensils or products for sale are displayed on shelves along the wings’ interiors.