Question and answer on “Mobile Architecture”

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ZO_loft answered some questions on mobile architecture for DAMDI Architecture Publishing . Full interview is published with several works of our studio in the book MOBILE ARCHITECTURE.

Why “mobile architecture”? What significance does it have in the contemporary architecture (or design)?
“Mobile architecture” remarks on the space, on staying and moving, quick building, life changing and it’s designed to be placed virtually anywhere.
“Mobile architecture” is designed to answer daily needs as also to suit mores and lifestyle changments. It seams to be ready to suit the future: mobile plannings tries to let the user to fell at easy in every place and any time as also semas to be aready to any kind of emergency.

How important is “mobile architecture” in your architectural practice?
ZO_loft studio is always investigating in life-style and activities of our fellow human, as also in elaborated objects or spaces, aiming to a flexible architecture or design. This means we need to face and plan schedules and strategies that, quite often, provide “mobile architecture” in the plan.

What is the most important element (or strategy) in your mobile work(s)?
Probably our most important strategy is to work on each project, both architecture and design, evaluating processes and variables from different fields.
For the ZO_loft studio a good strategy, such as a good plan, comes out by “inclusion and interaction” of: social, economic and environmental sustainability; communication; schedule; technology.
In this way forms, technological solution, details, materials, but also naming, colours, … each part of the project is designed to answer to a specific question.

What are the most common mistakes or difficulties in working on the mobile projects? Please tell your episodes.
Mobile design is mainly easier to manage, since it needs to confront with a final user of the product.
It will have a private owner that will use it in a “private context”. So you just need to be alble to eventually face technical and economic problems.
Mobile architecture is certenly more difficult.
A part from technical problems and costs, main difficulties come out from mobility itself. Moving means to change place. A mobile architecture could be placed virtually anywhere. But that’s the most common mistake.
Each area undergoes its own law, local rules, habits, climatic condition,…each area is a new “context”. Moving request easy-fitting solution. So a good mobile architecture need to be a good flexible architecture too.
This mean that, even if you have a great idea, you have to choose the “context” you want to move a project in. You need to choose limits of your project. This is the hardest and most important thing to care for, when planning a mobile architecture.
Talking about our works: some container architecture we experienced, achieve adaptability by plug-in additions to the “basic form”. This is a quick good solution, but means we previously need to plan a range of possible backgrounds anyway. Some other works, such as the Wheelly shelter, just choose specific targets and contexts to suit.

Will you keep working on your mobile works in the future? If so, anything new you would like to try in the next mobile project? If not, why?
Yes, we’ll do surely. Mobile architecture or mobile design are straight connected to a “flexible project”, even if a flexible project doesn’t mean directly mobility.
Nevertheless we would keep to investigate on how mobile architecture can be used and/or usefull for pubblic spaces, expecially for squares. Since we are living in a earthquake experienced area, we are, actually, experimenting in emergency architecture too. In this field mobile and flexible architecture are extremely important to let the project be easily used in every part of the world it could be needed.

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