Back to the classics, the Living Pod is an inventive project by David Greene in 1966 for Archigram. This nomadic dwelling has the characteristics of being represented by a lot of amazing documents produced by Greene in the 60’s. One has to reconsidered that in the context of a very strongly framed Academic milieu (Architecture was still taught in the Beaux Arts in France for example), Archigram’s work was perceived as truly revolutionary.

Paradigms: Trailer homes, ‘Prefabs’, etc. Development: The ‘house’ is regarded here as consisting of two major components: a living-pod and attached machines.

Description:
Part One, a Pod … Colour, bonded white. Twelve support nodes (six tension, six compression). Four apertures (25 per cent surface). one access aperture, all with vacuum fixing seals, inner bonded sandwich of insulation and /or finish. Multi-purpose inflating floor 45 per cent area.

Part Two: Machinery, four automatic self-levelling compression legs for maximum 5 feet of water or 40-degree slope. Two transparent sectionalised sliding aperture seals with motors. Transparent entry seal with ramp and hydraulics. Two wash capsules with electrostatic disposal, air entry, and total automatic body cleaning equipment. One only with total body water immersion possibility. Two rotating silos for disposable toilet and clothing objects, etc. Vertical body hoist. Climate machinery for temperate zone (with connections to inflating sleep mats and warm section of inflating floor). Non-static food dispenser with self-cook modifications. Non-static media, teach and work machine with instant transparent cocoon ring. Inflating screens to sleep mats.

Appraisal: Although this capsule can be hung within a plug-in urban structure or can sit in the open landscape it is still a ‘house’. Really one is left with a zoomland trailer home. Probably a dead end. A basic assumption that must be reassessed in terms of the possibility of increasing personal mobility and technological advance. Anything is probable. The outcome of rejecting permanence and security in a house brief and adding instead curiosity and search could result in a mobile world – like early nomad societies. In relation to the Michael Webb design, the Suit and Cushicle would be the tent and camel equivalent; the node cores an oasis equivalent: the node cluster communities conditioned by varying rates of change. It is likely that under the impact of the second machine age the need for a house (in the form of permanent static container) as part of man’s psychological make-up will disappear.

With apologies to the master, the house is an appliance for carrying with you, the city is a machine for plugging into.

David Greene