‘Basic house’, the portable housing by Martin Azúa


“The role of design in the future will be to make attractive poverty.” This is the sentence that the Basque designer Martín Azúa heard from the theoretical wiz of sustainability Ezio Manzini and that echoed in his head so much and so hard that it led him to create Basic House, a reversible, foldable and, perhaps most importantly, habitable volume of inflatable polyester, and it’s goal: To create an element that will allow him to live according to the passing of time.


It is almost an immaterial house that self inflates with body heat or sunlight; so simple and versatile that it protects us from cold or heat by only turning it; so light it floats; and so wearable that it folds up and fits in your pocket. Ideal for a life in motion with no material attachments. A way of life that seems to have come for good: “Cultures that have a more direct interaction with their environment show that the idea of habitat can be understood in more essential and reasonable terms,” says the designer.

We’ve felt the need to (re)discover this project today, that this Basque designer devised in the distant 1999 and is part of the MoMA’s collection, to remind us of the true luxury in the life of a global nomad. Pure inspiration.



Fotos:  Daniel Riera.

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