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Architect's 'suitcase house' aimed at young people

By Deng Zhangyu | China Daily | Updated: 2018-10-16 07:15
The about 4-square-meter house, named "Mars case", designed by architect Li Hu, is on display at China House Vision exhibition in Beijing. [Photo provided to China Daily]

When humans are forced to settle down on Mars, might we at last start to think about the way we live on Earth? With this question in mind, architect Li Hu has designed a suitcase-like house to explore how people could have minimalistic lifestyle that only meets the essential requirements for survival.

The about 4-square-meter house, on display at China House Vision exhibition in Beijing, discusses future houses and comprises two parts: a hard case that includes the kitchen, toilet, bathroom and air conditioning unit, and an inflatable ballon-like living space used for activities such as reading, drinking tea, doing exercises or enjoying the landscape through windows.

"That's enough," Li says.

He calls it the "Mars case" to imagine a future where people will view or "use" their houses as conveniently as suitcases. All the resources in such a house are visioned to be recyclable - air, water, energy and even waste.

Kenya Hara, curator of the exhibition and a well-known designer, says Li's exhibit rethinks the concept of home under an extreme situation, with "a sense of science fiction".

The architect assumes a future situation when people are forced to migrate to Mars as the Earth would not be able to support them further. Li started the project last year.

"It criticizes society for its consumption and materialism. In fact, the project is aimed at giving people a warning about their lifestyles. I hope it never happens that one day we have to settle down on Mars," says Li.

The architect says he promotes minimalism and an eco-friendly lifestyle. He rides a bicycle to work in Beijing where he established Open Architecture's office in a hutong (alley) in 2008. Previously, he worked as a partner at Steven Holl Architects in New York, where he also commuted similarly to work.

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