Winy Maas, founder of Dutch architecture firm MVRDV, and The Why Factory, the firm’s in-house think tank, have created an installation to envisage the future of our living environment. (W)ego: The Future City is Flexible is a nine-metre-high structure comprising a tessellated collection of rooms that defy conventional box shapes and take on Tetris-like forms to adapt to different needs.
By experimenting with each room’s compact size, the installation packs in nine rooms each with a different layout. Some are narrow and tall, featuring ladders and a hammock, or mezzanine beds; others are wide with a low ceiling, and some tier upwards to slot around the rest. It can be accessed from either side, and each is decorated in a vivid colour to strongly define all the varying shapes.
“The future city is flexible,” says Winy Maas. “Have you ever dreamed of sleeping suspended high in the air? How would it feel to sleep inside a vertical hanging garden? What if your room was made of stairs? Would you dare to sleep in a room that was a billboard?
“Based on the hypothesis that the maximum density could be equal to the maximum of desires, this research explores the potentials of negotiation in dense context,” says Winy Maas. “Through gaming and other tools, (W)ego explores participatory design processes to model the competing desires and egos of each resident in the fairest possible way.” Adaptable living, he explains, will depend on inhabitants negotiating with each other, working with and around each other’s desires for their living space.
(W)ego: The Future City is Flexible is on display in Markt Square, Eindhoven until 29 October, and is one of a series of installations at Dutch Design Week exploring The Future City.