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Jitaku Panel
Given the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Bauhaus, the Small House of Universal Design competition calls out for the design and creation of a small house which offers solutions to the pressing issues of our current age.
Project Description

Cities all over the world face mounting pressures surrounding the availability of buildable land. Displacement, demographic growth and urban migration is prompting the utilisation of allotment gardens and ‘left-over’ spaces as suitable plots for people to call ‘home.’

Historically, unsustainable building practices have rendered the global construction industry a major culprit of CO2 emissions. A new era of opportunity exists in the abundant availability of usable waste in the form of ocean plastics; the international agenda surrounding ocean pollution is changing, prompting considerable clean-ups which, in turn, will offer a plentiful supply of recycled building material. In acknowledgement of today’s throw-away society, considerable thought has been given to the manufacturing and post-occupancy re-purposing of the Jitaku Panel. The simplicity of this system allows the user to recycle, sell or donate building components – or even entire houses – to others. This ensures that the materials remain locked in to the ‘life cycle’ of the building rather than becoming waste once again.

Seizing the principles of the Bauhaus movement and the underpinning concept of universality, the Jitaku Panel offers a fool-proof assembly system to ensure that it is accessible and understandable to all, regardless of user background or know-how. Manufactured as a kit of parts, the home assembly system facilitates constant change and growth, whether due to lifestyle choice, family expansion or environmental implications. Based on a 1.2m x 2.4m grid, its adaptable nature is responsive to ever-changing needs and almost any 50m2 plot, whilst the ‘clip-on’ external skin system offers a variety of performance and aesthetic treatments.

The Jikatu Panel also embraces the principles and teachings of Dieter Rams with an emphasis on honest and innovative design. Inspired by traditional Japanese joinery, a series of interlocking splice details allow for clean, uncomplicated junctions which minimise the need for wet trades and metal fastenings. By applying traditional craftsmanship to man-made plastics in this way, the Jikatu Panel breathes new life into an otherwise forgotten artisanal skill.

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Project Details
Small House of Universal Design
October 2018