Project 'cara-cycle.' A portable house.



by Callum Nash

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Unfolding from a 1m area to the size of a large motorhome, this portable house provides electric, water and heating, as well as waste disposal and a shower.

Who: My name is Callum Nash, I am a designer and inventor based in the UK. I have previously won awards for my work, having been featured in Autocar magazine in 2011, with my work on zero emissions vehicles. I have been involved in the production of prototypal hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and have for the past 4 years been running my own business as a commercial freelance designer.



Whilst I have said my good-byes to the automotive industry, our society is littered with myriad problems that desperately need solution. And the two problems that this design attempts to solve are that of housing, and that of displacement.


What: By designing a portable house that unfolds to provide enough space for a small family, that uses solar power, small wind turbines, water collection and composting of waste to provide a higher standard of living than a normal house, without being reliant on centralised sources of power and water.This is a design challenge that I have now mostly solved, and am interested in building a prototype to prove the concept. The house will be less than 1 square meter when collapsed, and 4x4x8 meters when expanded - about the size of a large motorhome. Excitingly, I believe this can be made entirely from waste materials (sans solar panels) and at an extremely low cost. It would also be very light, possibly light enough to tow behind a bicycle.Whilst my interest in this product would be best suited to humanitarian relief and temporary / nomadic housing systems, it also could disrupt the commercial camping / caravan and motorhome markets, and so initially would also be sold to private customers - depending on cost I’d like to do something similar to the wind-up laptop, in a purchase of this product will also pay for the production of another to be donated to humanitarian projects and disaster relief.


Why: There are many, many reasons why this is a good time in history for the development of an ultralight portable house, we have record levels of displacement, record levels of homelessness and a housing crisis that means that most of my generation won’t be able to afford a home until they are too old to put a family in one. Additionally, nomadic living is our nature, and our dwelling systems should support this, not hinder it as they do now.


When: I would like to build a prototype in the start of 2016, in order to test it in deepest winter here in the Yorkshire Moors. After that point, I’d like to crowd fund the development of a commercial prototype, and at the same time an open source instruction book on how to make on yourself. Ideally, this would happen fast, so that by this time next year, a fully tested commercial prototype can be taken to market.


What’s Next: The Startjoin community seems the ideal place to concept this idea, you understand the value of open source, and the nature of problems facing society today. And you also possess an intellect that can help pick the holes in my idea and critique it so that it might be stronger. I want to know what you think to my strategy, what you would want in return for pledges, and what you imagine when you think of this product.I have set a figure of £12,000, which would allow me to reduce my client workload and focus on this project for a period of 6 - 9 months, as well as purchasing any essential materials required for the job.You can find out more about my work by visiting

My contact details are as follows:(+44)7898826501

[email protected]


commercial work: