Urban regeneration, homelessness, pollution and climate change are all major factors that designers, architects and planners are faced with in the 21st century.

To show you what this means, here are 5 cunning ideas for houses from around the world.

1. The Earth-Centric’s dream home

A team at CalEarth, the California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture, provide practical lessons on how to utilize anything from natural available earth materials to man-made material to build an eco-friendly home . They say:

“We envision a world in which everyone is empowered to build a safe and sustainable home with their own hands, using the earth under their feet,”

The idea was born from Nader Khalili, an Iranian architect, who passionately assisted people in poverty with limited resources to build their own houses.

2. Simple, slender, starter homes

Almost every city has areas crying out for regeneration and there’s also the need to curb the outward expansion into rural areas. The solution may have come from architects at the Office of Jonanthan Tate who have designed a slim accommodation which grades less a conventional entry level home.

The team also state that their Starter Home Programme can enable lower income families to afford their own home and can be a solution to areas experiencing gentrification. Each design is tailored to the plot of land which ensure that every bit of space is utilized.

3. The Foldable Skyscraper

An unusual but maybe a lifesaving idea has been developed by a Polish company. Aimed to be used in disaster prone areas where earthquakes, floods or hurricanes are frequent, this foldable skyscraper can be lifted by helicopter into an area in need, anchored to unstable ground.

It can be inflated with a large helium balloon where all floors are regulated via the gas input. The designers even claim that its footprint can be roughly 30 times smaller than the containers or tent currently used in disaster areas.

4. The Tree-Ness House

With the ever expanding cities and the growing need to more greener, the Akishia Hirata Architecture Office has presented a home that could fulfill the needs of many environmentally conscious home owners.

Furthermore, their design aims to help regulate city temperatures as vegetation helps to lower air temperature through evapotranspiration. This has already been build in the Toshima district of Tokyo.

It’s aptly named as the Tree-Ness house as it includes a main core building, the “trunk”, and host of small gardens and terraces, acting as the branches.

5. “Box clever” ideas

If you take things at face value, a shipping container would be the last place you would want to house yourself. However, for some people in need such as the homeless, it’s an attractive temporary solution.

With approximately 17 million shipping containers in existence today, only a small number are actually used.

Containerwek, based in Stuttgart, have been remodeling the interior of spare containers to create livable housing. It can be a great option for asylum seekers or the homeless who have been taking advantage of these in Berlin and London. They’ve even been used for student accommodation.

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