Designer Alastair Parvin presents a simple but provocative idea: what if, instead of architects creating buildings for those who can afford to commission them, regular citizens could design and build their own houses? The concept is at the heart of WikiHouse, an open source construction kit that means just about anyone can build a house, anywhere. Alastair Parvin believes in making architecture accessible to 100 percent of the population.
“As a society we’ve never needed design thinking more,” says Alastair Parvin, but most people — particularly those in cities of growing density and poverty — can’t afford it. Parvin, who was trained in architecture but chooses to make a career looking for ideas beyond its conventional framework, wants to change that.
He is one of a team behind WikiHouse, an open-source construction set that allows anyone to freely share model files for structures, which can then be downloaded, “printed” via a CNC cutting machine and easily assembled. Parvin calls WikiHouse a very early experiment, the seed of what he sees as design’s great project in the 21st century: the democratization of production.