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Brooklyn based artist Kevin Cyr seems to be thinking fairly deeply about commercial vehicles, and vehicles as housing. But he doesn’t just draw them, he also builds them. Back in 2008 he built a “sculptural piece” that any maker would be proud to have built, it’s an RV mounted on a bike frame; it’s a Camper Bike.

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You might think this is just about as small as homes can go, but a year later Kevin went ahead and built a much smaller home off the back of a successful Kickstarter Campaign. This time he used a shopping cart.

In the same way the Camper Bike evokes the RV, the Camper Kart is actually amazingly reminiscent of the more mainstream car-pulled trailer tents that are fairly common at camp sites. However with the Camper Bike is an exercise in minimalism, the Kart is like origami. It folds out, with struts and flaps, and cleverly concealed storage, folding down and in on itself. Almost the exact opposite of the Bike. Intriguing.

Alasdair Allan

Alasdair Allan is a scientist, author, hacker, tinkerer and co-founder of a startup working on fixing the Internet of Things. He spends much of his time probing current trends in an attempt to determine which technologies are going to define our future.


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Comments

  1. Tommy says:

    These can really make for great homes outside cities, I’m sure.

  2. Cool, but what’s with the CRT?

  3. More thoughts:

    From looking at it, the center of gravity seems to be fairly high.

    Although it might add a square meter or two, a bathroom would be nice.

    This may add to the weight, but a pedal-driven electric system would also be cool. IOW, as you pedal, you store energy in batteries, for later use.

    Of course, these may have been left as “exercise for the reader” :)

    1. Goli Mohammadi says:

      I was thinking the same thing about the center of gravity, though the Camper Bike looks more stable than the shopping cart home. That shopping cart would be any kid’s dream come true. So much fun!

  4. Brit says:

    Great idea. Especially in city where living space is expensive and where it is getting hard to find housing space, you should think of smaller homes. Ideas like that can held to decide what is important and what parts of a home can be reduced.

    1. Magnis says:

      or maybe we as a people should start useing birth control to reduce over population. the number of people there are now is striping the world of resoces faster then they can be replaced, and many resoces can’t be replaced at all.

      1. colga1 says:

        >>>/pol/

  5. Jan Chr Valvik says:

    The German camperproducer Dethleffs made a bicycle camper trailer a few years back, as a prototype. Quite cool actually, would be something I would by, and NEVER use, but still cool to own. http://s945.photobucket.com/user/Giraut/slideshow/Dethleffs%20Biker%20bicycle%20camper%20trailer/?albumview=slideshow

    They also made a type for a Vespa Ape http://www.t-online.de/auto/technik/id_42567646/sid_40855832/si_0/-.html

  6. chuck says:

    I could have sworn I left a comment here last night. Did I inadvertently break some editorial rule or something?

  7. Homeowner says:

    Well, OK, perhaps not as small as a shopping cart. But American homes can afford to get a little smaller. So, popularizing these (impractical as they may be) mobile “homes” may be a step in the right direction to get people’s attention to the issue of living in homes that are way too big for the purpose.

  8. chuck says:

    Tiny homes are anti maker. They are great for consumers who need a place to sleep and watch TV or for socialites who spend their time out of the house, but for folks who do things, they are not a good fit. Where do you store your tools? Where do you keep your recyclables and salvage stuff? Where do you plug in your plasma cutter, CNC machine, kiln or other power hungry gear? How do you prepare meals or bake bread in a tiny kitchen, not to mention canning, butchering game, brewing beer and so many other sustainable maker activities? What about home based businesses? I know that many folks rely on collectivist maker spaces, and they are great for socializing, collaborating and education, but they don’t fit the needs of everyone. I understand that McMansions are unsustainable, but I use every inch of my two bedroom house with a garage, and I still need space. I appreciate the dialog these projects open up about sustainability and reduction of waste, but where do we draw the line between sustainability and smug hipster asceticism?

    1. Homeowner says:

      I don’t believe it’s all in the *size* of the home per se. As a small home-based business owner and a DIYer I appreciate every point you made BUT: modern American homes are simply not good for a DIYer no matter the size! Most of that size comes from spaces inside the home that are completely wasted. And just in general, most modern (as in being built right now) homes look like they are designed by an arcitect who was in hybernation since 1950s. They are designed with a pretentions assumption that a family should always look like your classical nuclear family from the 50s era magazine ads and every day do exactly the same thing: drive a car to and from work, come back, cook in one room, eat in another, then go to yet another to watch TV, then go to bed. That’s it. Most modern homes have separate so called “living” and “family” rooms – what the hell am I supposed to do in a “living” rm that I cannot do in a “family” rm? Many homes have dining rm as well as so called “breakfast nook” of almost the same size – do you really need a choice of spaces to eat your cereal at? Do you really need a 20×25 master bedroom? And the list goes on and on.

      I live (by necessity – there was nothing different available in the area when I needed it) in such house. It’s rather large and yet I’m still constrained for DIY purposes. For example, I cannot do anything that produces dust of metal chips in carpeted or hardwood-ed rooms, so that eliminates 75% of it right there. Anything that has potential of sparks or open flame is also a huge concern (most times just simply a no-no) in a home made from compressed wood chips and essentially carton.

      Anyway, just so it does not sound like I’m venting about the home that I don’t like, I wanted to say that the size matters but it isn’t all there is to a comfortable home. A home well-designed for the living style of the occupant can be half the size and yet still not feel cramped. Given the average size of a newly built home in the US (something like 2,200 sq. ft – 2,500 sq. ft I believe), shaving off a few hundred sq. ft won’t make it anywhere close to “smug hipster ascetism”

      1. chuck says:

        I see where you’re coming from. I’m all for better design, but some of the tiny houses I’ve seen are way too small. Of course the extremes of any movement will get the press.
        While I do appreciate the motivations of the small house concept, some of the criticisms of traditional houses seem short sighted. I’ve heard people say ‘no one needs 12′ ceilings or three car garages’. High ceilings are terrible if you use AC but if you open the windows they allow the hot air to rise above the living space and keep you cool. That’s why old houses have them. A multi-car garage is wasteful if all you do is park cars and store Christmas decorations in it, but a room with 220 volt service, a slop sink and a roll up door is ideal for a shop. Large living rooms are wasteful if all you do is sit on the couch and watch TV but mine has enough room so that I can have a large workbench in the corner. I can hang out with the wife and work on stuff while she works on her jewelry on the coffee table. It also serves as my ‘clean room’ for delicate stuff like laying out my sails or building canvases for painting.
        I’ve lived in a 300 sq. ft. cabin in the jungle and a 400 sq. ft. condo in the city and it affected my productivity greatly. I understand the desire to live simply but don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.

  9. craig says:

    The practical aspect of this bike is obviously use. Short distance biking/camping, YES! Long distance biking with camping off the beaten path, no. I imagine riding out a rainstorm is better in this rather than a tent. But I’d tie this tight to a tree in storm winds. When a traditional mountain bike can have traditional camping tent/gear, cover 30-50 miles a day, and set camp at a secluded ravine riverside, this seems like an urban novelty. A 10MPH headwind will stop you dead after 100 yards gasping in this rig. As I sit here thinking of different uses, the pros & cons are a whirlwind that seems to lead to con. A northwoods boy always avoids the pavement. As far as the ‘home’ aspect of this… you gotta be kidding me, a work cubicle is 4 times bigger than this.

  10. Sounds like a great idea for the homeless. Seriously.

    1. Alissa, this is exactly how these should be used. I can’t think of any other real application for them.

  11. A bike home? Awesome!

  12. Dee Louchart says:

    How do I get one? I want one so bad that I can haul around on a pedal bike.

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