Computerization has had a major impact on just about every aspect of manufacturing and fabrication. It’s also led to a democratization of the process, enabling enthusiastic DIYers with a bit of know-how (and a little extra cash in their bank accounts) to create some pretty amazing things with devices like 3D printers, desktop laser cutters, and programmable CNC machines.
It’s this last piece of equipment that WikiHouse wants to help you put to good use. The goal of WikiHouse is to allow people to freely download “open source structures” which can be opened and modified using Google Sketchup. The plans’ building components are designed to be milled from 18MM sheets of plywood, and the resulting pieces can be fitted together like a giant puzzle. They’re even labeled during fabrication, making it perhaps a bit more like building an Ikea desk (though that can be puzzling at times). In addition to marking pieces for easy assembly, the CNC will even cut a wooden mallet that can be used to ensure a tight fight between panels.
The first WikiHouse will be constructed in South Korea at the Gwangju Design Biennale 2011. We are now looking for architects, furniture designers, product designers, craftsmen, and makers from around the world who are interested in contributing to the WikiHouse process.