Living On The Road – The New Nomads

Mobility is the ultimate new form of freedom: freedom from routine, traditional values, and geographic restraints. Today we are to more mobile than ever, it has become quite common to spend time in different countries, work in various places and explore the world by moving around.

Gestalten’s latest publication The New Nomads celebrates this growing trend of being mobile, compiling a wide range of flexible spaces and innovative products that define today’s nomads. Through innovative technology, and by (literally) thinking outside the box, the designers behind these concepts give people the freedom to call the entire world their home.

In the following we gathered our Top 10 Nomadic Designs from all the amazing ideas that you’ll find inside the book. You can purchase it directly by clicking on the last image at the bottom of the article for €39.90.


Image Malte Spindler/DIE BRUeDER © Sealander GmbH 2014

A few adjustments transform this shelter designed by Sealander from a caravan into a yacht. On land the simple structure acts as a refuge, bedroom, and galley. On water, the same hideout becomes a bathing platform, pleasure boat, and meditative oasis.



Image © Niall Walker

Inspired by the classic yurt, a portable structure developed by the nomadic people of Central Asia, this shelter by Trake/Alec Farmer & Uula Jero updates the ancient dwelling and refines it for the twenty-first century. The minimalist but gracious rounded structure utilizes cutting edge design and manufacturing techniques. A compact pack size liberates valuable storage space when the yurt is stowed away, while the lightweight construction allows for easy transportation by car.



Image © Michiel de Cleene

When aircraft Shelter 610 by RAAAF opens its ruthless doors, a black behemoth slowly drives out. At an almost excruciatingly slow pace, the science fictionesque artwork uses its caterpillar tracks to cross a seemingly infinite runway. The commanding and muscular object’s constantly changing position in the serene landscape allows the visitor to experience the area and the history of the military airbase in a new and unexpected fashion.



Image © Benji Wagner

A vehicle rooftop tent designed by Poler Stuf, weighing just 64 kilos folds open into a cozy space for a queen-sized foam mattress. Constructed from heavy-duty waterproof canvas, aluminum poles, and a ladder, the efficient tent attaches to standard Thule or Yakima bars and can be placed on almost any vehicle.



Image © Ross Campbell, Processcraft

This mirrored, stainless steel cube by Processcraft stages the ultimate room with a view. Part of a national park project in Scotland, the reflective lookout was built by two architecture students. The hideout camouflages itself amidst the scenic landscape, reflecting the rich green mountains. The structure incorporates two seats to host up to three guests.



Image © People’s Architecture Office, People’s Industrial Design Office

Embracing the temporary relationship between people and land, a home moved by tricycle develops a sustainable and affordable solution for single-family housing. Easily navigating the crowded streets of metropolitan China, the tiny shelter occupies parking lots at night and traffic jams by day. The entire house, made from scored and folded polypropylene plastic, designed by People ’s Architecture Office supports the novel concept of living while moving.



Image © João Morgado

This experimental object by Gabriela Gomes combines sculpture, design, and architecture to form a memorable spatial experience. The futuristic, habitable module integrates sustainable materials with an understated yet youthful interior aesthetic. Intimate without feeling oppressive, the tiny shelter resembles a crimson cartoon cloud dropped from the sky.



Image © Daniel Künzler, Roman Menge

This modest forest hut near a historic eighteenth century town blurs the boundaries between life and art. Designed by V9 as a distinct counterpoint to the town’s prescribed paths and traditions, the rustic cabin stages a creative space free from historical constraints and societal expectations. The slightly ramshackle and compact structure calls for a more stripped down lifestyle where only the bare necessities remain.



Image © Vitra, Ph. Julien Lanoo

This experimental shelter created by Renzo Piano serves as a prototype for nomadic, off-grid housing. The micro unit supports a number of uses ranging from workspace to studio and weekend home. Sustainable and mobile, the tiny pitched-roof dwelling promotes a paired down approach to living without sacrificing basic creature comforts.



Image © Cristina Beltran

Colorful and compact, this transitional cabin by Daniel Cabezas López adapts to the aesthetic needs of its temporary occupants while responding to its local context. The nine square meter volume divides into a lower living area and an upper bedroom level. A large window in the living room illuminates the interior, optimizes resources, and frames an impressive forest vista. The intimate sleeping area above features a generous skylight that enhances the experience of living in the treetops.