Nomadic Architecture


Andrew Todd Marcus

1/3 Scale Model

Beverly Nwankwo

Detail- Configurations

Beverly Nwankwo

We decided to make frames of plywood so it would be lighter and easier for the person to carry around. Fortunately, Beverly was able to make two different bed configurations, in addition to three different chair setups. The best apart bout the three different elements within the wheel, is that when built or folded into furniture, it is sturdy enough to hold your weight. But for the actual life size scale, we would you 3/4 inch plywood, so that the structure is solid and good.

Detail- Solid Trapezoid

Beverly Nwankwo

The solid trapezoids were used for storage, and their were four of them in the whole entire wheel.

Detail- Table top trapezoid

Beverly Nwankwo

Since there were three different designs for the wheel the trapezoid with a cover on it, so it can be used a table top. There were two table tops, used in the wheel.

Detail- Open trapezoid

Beverly Nwankwo

There were three different designs for the octagon wheel at the time. As a result my group decided to have six open spaced trapezoid which would be used for the person to sit, sleep, or walk on.


Ellis Cordaro

The original idea for the foldable tent started out a triangular prism, all made from one piece of plastic. The tent would be triangular and have build in steaks and would be self supported through folds. Many ideas and folding patterns were experimented with, but none of them provided adequate support or maximized the space inside of the tent. After pitching the idea to our coaches, it was decided that the idea was not original and was generally flawed. However, the folding concept remained a feasible option because it would create a light and self supported product which also had a modern and appealing aesthetic aspect. After spending about half of a week with the Cocoon Room group, Dan and I began making a separate project which included folding. Right away we began using a fold pattern which was fan folded and had one on each side. We then laser cut a frame for each side of the fold pattern. This version of the tent would be even more versatile than the original concept of the folding tent since it could be used as an awning as well as being able to fold 180 degrees which would provide full protection from the elements. This fold pattern provided great support at small scale, but it would not have had proper support at full scale. So, as suggested by Andrew and Yu, we added another fold to the design to add more support. After testing numerous ways to score the paper, engraved laser cut lines ended up being what was used in the final model. We then made a laser cut frame to provide support on the ends and added rope which was threaded through the paper, providing support and a way for the user to tie down the structure. In order to waterproof the product, polyurethane was used. This also made the paper more rigid.

Process: Cocoon-Room

Jordan Bazmore

We first came up with different ideas, then came back together to create a final project.We had agreed on this cool idea of having a tent hanging for the side of a building. We all liked our ideas and combining the two created the cocoon room. 

We were inspired by multiple images on the internet, like the tents mountain climbers setup when they are camping on the side of a mountain we thought it would be cool to hve a tent hang outside of a window . There was also a hollow tree house that inspired us to change the model and spreadout he wood. Then after making the first prodotype we figured out a way to improve the design. 



Sam Ingersoll

One detail of the Cocoon Room that was subject to many changes through the iterative process was the storage compartment under the floor. First, the storage space was going to be without walls, then, we decided that it might be beneficial to have walls around the storage space in order to protect the belongings of the individual.

The first design of the walls was to have plywood perpendicular to the floor (image 1). This initial design would have have distinct edges where the plywood connected but would be lightweight. The wall design was then changed in order to fit better with the form of the cocoon (image 2), thin cross sections of plywood parallel to the floor would be stacked to create a wall which would help keep the form of the room. This design proved to be very heavy and would cause the already weighty shelter to be even harder to move.

In the end, the walled storage compartment was abandoned for a storage compartment protected by the cloth covering. This design was much more lightweight, allowed the collapsed form of the shelter to be smaller by about half, and decreased the amount of material used.



Josh Roy

Have you ever been at a park or common and just wished you had a seat? Did you ever want to carry more than just what you could fit on your back? Well, there is now a solution, called the wheel of life.

Technically, it’s not a wheel. It’s actually a dodecahedron, a regular polygon with 12 sides. It is 7.5 feet tall, and a user can stand inside it. Since it is rather large, the best mode of transportation is actually walking inside of it, and it is built for a person up to 6.5 feet tall.

Regularly, walking inside of a giant wheel made of plywood would be difficult, due to the weight of the plywood. To combat this issue, the wheel has been made of multiple “frames” of wood that reduce the weight.

The solid pieces can be used as storage or as seats. Although the quarter scale model does not have doors, the full scale version will have locking doors so that your baggage does not simply fall out. There are 4 of this units on the wheel.

The table units are aptly named, since they can be used as tables. They are exactly like the vanilla pieces, but they have a top table portion. In this model, the table cannot be detached, however, the final version’s tables will be able to be taken off. There are 2 of these units. On the quarter scale model, there are two types of tables. The first is a solid table, and the second is a table made of beams. On the final edition, both of the tables will be made of beams.

The vanilla units have a bottom and two sides. They make up half of the polygon and are used mainly for walking on. They can also be used as a place to lie down or sit in the different configurations this structure has.

When a user is ready to settle down, whether he wants to sit or lie down, one of the vertices of the polygon can actually detach, which would allow the polygon to unroll. Using these unrolled pieces, the wheel can be folded into many different structures. These include a bed, a lounge chair, and a tabled sitting area. Although the structure is relatively light, it is actually very sturdy. In full scale, multiple people would be able to sit on this structure without causing any damage.

To the nomad, this structure is useful because it is a mode of transportation, carries luggage, and allows interaction with the local community (through the use of the different configurations). For example, the polygon can unfold into a dining table.