Biomimetic tiny home as antifragile prototype for new urbanism

When a computer-based, self-reliant city-lab high in the hills above designed and built a tiny home they used parametric modeling software to mimic nature. The resulting Niu Haus, or Nest House, is all curves (only the sloping solar-paneled roof is flat). Built from wood harvested, milled and CNC-cut on the property, it’s a hyper-local creation.

Self-Sufficient Labs is located on the site of an abandoned 19th-century vineyard left to return to forest. By culling trees, the group sources not only raw material for constant building projects, but also wood chips for a heater which provides all the heating needs. The 50 students who live in the old farmhouse/villa grow their own food on the property, often aided by their experimental robotic agriculture.

, former chief architect of the city of Barcelona and Valldaura Labs founder, argues we need to reinvent cities every 30 years; given the strength of cross-laminated timber in skyscraper construction, he sees as part of this future. A part of this future is antifragile community construction where cities and even individual homes will be capable of producing their own energy, food and construction materials.

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  1. I am sure the author of this lives in a tiny home, being a leader. Have Bill Gates and Wares Buffet move into one as well. How about Bernie and Hillary and other great leaders.

    • Edward Barros breh what DO u mean our Overlords shan’t live like plebes. How can they rule us effectively living in mud huts

  2. I had to spend a couple of minutes with a dictionary trying to work out what this video might be about. Glad I did though.

    • Good question. Seems when used for heat, I’ve read biomass heaters can be 75-90% efficient (not the case when used for energy generation). Though the current biomass heaters seem to pollute quite a bit so hopefully there will be newer systems that can capture emissions.

  3. What a waste of wood. At least you build a normal house it stands for sometimes over 100 years and people use it … this is not going to be around that long. This is a waste, and cutting all that wood at this time is a big waste.

    • What do you mean? Wood houses can last as long, depending how it’s built and if you take good care. What is “normal” house anyways?

    • @Elli Elli
      Not if no one wants to be in it and you cannot sell it. You are merely playing stupid to try to question my comment, and then asking me what is a norma house? You’re just unintelligent if you do not know what a normal house it. I think it is the most stupid, uncreative think to do to get on people with bad arguments because you think they are not being positive enough, or said something negative about something you like. Blow it out your ear.

  4. Creativity done right. Amazing to see that they are facilitating this level of organic and dynamic creativity for a more sustainable future! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I respect Barcelona’s history, beautiful art, passion, and your soccer style. 
    May a happy life always be with you… from Korea.

  6. So, biodiversityin this case, came about through the actions of man in creating a monoculture of grape vines

    • Actually when the vineyards were there it seems there were no trees (what we could see when Vicente showed the photo), but some of the manmade things at the time (the fountains, walls) eventually helped add biodiversity when the forest took over the abandoned vineyards. I think there’s an equilibrium in there.

  7. Seems a lot of wood but the idea of self-sufficiency and on non-linear building structure is fantastic, what a great thing to focus on other than just the next mobile phone or car.

  8. as a weekend house, sure. but living alone in the middle of nowhere, while still driving to the city and burning solid fuels has nothing to do with urbanism or ecology. dislike.

  9. how many trees must one plant to counter-act the solar panels and batteries at the end of their lives? can that be calculated? I’m not being sarcastic.

    Another beautiful adventure with real people. Thank you✌🏻

  10. Amazing work they are doing. I can’t really be totally comfortable with wood buildings though, because I am from Southern California (US), and fires have always been an existential threat. Now I live in Tijuana, Mexico and almost all of the buildings near me are made mainly with concrete, which seems much more sensible to me in such a hot and dry area.

    Maybe they can come up with a foolproof fire-protection though.

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