Implant : Outdoor Cooking, Underground Living

This is a a project I completed in my undergraduate degree in 2006. It was a conceptual project where we had to think into the distant future, define a scenario of living and ultimately develop a product that would be suitable for that world. The brief given focused on the relationship between inside and outside.

Implant design is a twist on the concept of outdoor living. It looks into the future and replaces the architectural density we currently associate with large urban areas. Instead of building up we are building down. Homes are built underground; no longer do we have a ‘back yard’ because our outdoor living space is above us… and is therefore much bigger, more open, and many would argue more beautiful.

The world we live in then becomes a place where the air and plants that live above us are much more valuable than the buildings we own. Not only do we have more land to cultivate, but we can also cultivate underground as well. We can use the nutrients within the ground, the water that flows underneath us and the warmth of the earth to provide us new ways of living.

With this system of living comes a new products that influences the way we live and the architecture that is below us. Radiance is an outdoor cooker and a low lying campfire that has been implanted into the ground. It slowly changes between each form depending on the time of day. It draws energy from the sun, and harnesses it within it’s central core. The concept is to provide a product which allows for the sharing of resources and can accommodate a variety of group sizes.

Outdoor living can be a very social construct where the sheer desire to interact with others is motivated by the ability to appreciate what surrounds us. Through that appreciation of the natural world, we are able to live more efficiently, enjoy our outdoor environment more, be safe within our homes and be kinder to our environment.

The enjoyment of the natural landscape then becomes something you can more actively share between your neighbours, friends and family.

Slowly as the sun rises, radiance emerges from the ground. Growing upwards throughout the day it becomes part of the landscape as it quietly collects solar energy from the sun. Radiance stretches to its tallest point when the sun is at its highest in the sky. When fully charged, it slowly begins to descend. When ready for use the Radiance will compress revealing a flat surface for cooking. The smell of dinner is in the air and family, friends and neighbors come up from their houses below and begin to gather in the garden. When dinner has been cooked Radiance submerges itself within the ground. It will continue to glow as a campfire emitting warmth and light into the wee hours of the night.

Ergonomics: Size and Proportion Experiments

In the above experiment I made a variety of different scaled virtual mockups projected onto a gridded wall. I could use these projections as a way of analyzing the scale of the design in relation to the human body throughout each of it’s transformations.

Model Design

Initial Concept Video


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