2012-06-07

Co.Exist

The Off-The-Grid House Of The Future, Built By ... An Ad Agency?

In the aftermath of the tsunami, a Japanese ad agency convened a collective of more than 20 companies to make a house that would be liveable if the power ever went out again.

Last year’s devastating earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster in Japan forced the technology-loving country to consider life without a reliable power infrastructure. For Tokyo advertising agency TBWA/Hakuhodo, this was an opportunity to think about the country’s self-sufficiency, and how the disaster could be used a starting point for a less energy-intensive lifestyle. And so the agency designed an off-the-grid house, becoming what it says is "the first advertising agency to offer a residential environment as a product."

The house (see video at top), designed in collaboration with more than 20 companies, including Nissan, NEC, and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, features a mobile wooden structure, dubbed the Aerohouse, as its base. The home is powered mainly by an organic photovoltaic film on the structure and by the Nissan Leaf electric car (acting as a generator), which generates 24 kW per hour. The designers believe that these two power sources combined can provide all the energy the house might need.

Mirai Nihon is also tricked out with plenty of other technology, including a seawater purification system (it can supposedly remove heavy metals and radioactive materials), an energy-saving ceramic coating, and an online home energy management system.

It’s unclear whether Mirai Nihon will ever be commercialized, but with so many companies collaborating on it, it’s hard to imagine that the concept will be left to rot.

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2 Comments

  • Heather Li

    I don't get how the Nissan Leaf component works. Doesn't that car battery need to be charged through a home docking station? What's the technology there?

  • Jason Brown

    Such an interesting concept. Maybe this could replace the modular American Eichler style homes in the future.