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AbleNook: Rapidly Deployable Modular Dwelling

By: on January 08, 2013

I'm nearly sold on AbleNook, a collapsible housing unit that requires neither appreciable time nor skill to assemble, based on its Kickstarter project's opening quote alone. From Albert Einstein: "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used to create them." With disaster relief efforts, school and civic portables, and flex office space in mind, AbleNook masterminds Sean Verdecia and Jason Ross created a totable dwelling that is both easily deployed and easily set up and broken down--no tools or construction knowledge necessary. Housing that comes to and goes with you. The AbleNook is like a more efficient and practical version of a trailer, and an exponentially slicker, classier version of a dirt-colored, windowless concave shell. (Haha, suck it, turtles! Humans win again!)

In addition to transforming from flat to livable in a matter of hours, AbleNook advantages include:

  • Full thermal insulation.
  • Adjustable leg jacks allowing for the dwellings' assembly even on wildly uneven terrain.
  • Integrated electrical system--prewired components allow AbleNooks to to plug in anywhere.
  • Modules that can be interlocked easily and within hours to accommodate larger space requirements, even after the AbleNook is in use.
  • Dedicated mechanical and storage spaces.
  • Thermodynamic design according to the classic bungalow typology--meaning the units can be passively cooled in hotter climates.
  • Pack and ship flat in 4' wide x 8' long x 6' high cubes to reduce transportation costs and waste, as well as maximize the number of AbleNooks that can be delivered to families in disaster areas.
  • Reusable.

Best of all, as alluded to above, AbleNooks are not ugly. Designed by an architect with as much taste as knowledge of building technology, I would rank their physical appeal right up there with, say, an Emma Stone or Emma Watson. Yeah, definitely a solid Emma in the looks department. Single module prototype AbleNooks measure 20' long x 13' high. Interior ceiling height is 10'.

While Kickstarter pledges in support of the rapidly deployable modular dwelling do not return cubes housing AbleNooks themselves, backers can show in dollars their support of the creation of AbleNook Prototype 002 which, according to Verdecia, aims to be "an even lighter, stronger, more affordable, quicker to assemble, and straight-up more beautiful version of [the current] AbleNook 001." If the $60,000 funding goal is reached, it will help the team with, for example, efforts to create a new proprietary custom die-mold for use in building lighter, stronger universal structure members, as well as lighter composite paneling for the AbleNook's slide-in wall panels.

At the $25 pledge level, backers receive an AbleNook T-shirt. For $75, an autographed AbleNook design book is added. $250 returns an AbleNook puzzle demonstrating the dwelling's assembly along with the T-shirt, and $1,000 and $2,000 levels come with either a 4' or 5' AbleNook LED hanging light made from the project's first-run parts. The pledge window is open through February 4, 2013.

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