February 23, 2011 | Today, at the opening of the Design Indaba conference in Cape Town, South Africa, the designer Dror Benshetrit of Studio Dror unveiled QuaDror, a space truss geometry that he invented and patented. Although the words “space truss geometry” may not sound sexy at first, QuaDror’s potential is impressive: its interlocking, load-bearing members function at several scales, from the small (a table base or room divider) to the large (a bridge support or structure for a house). When used in multiples, these forms are not only as stable as a solid cube (while using only 20 percent of the volume), but also have acoustical properties, as in a highway sound barrier. But the application about which Dror is most excited is that of emergency housing. The QuaDror Home is a kit that includes instructions, tools and QuaDror universal joints — to which structural members (of wood, bamboo, etc.) can be attached. Because these pieces take up so little room, Dror estimates that 1,750 of the kits can be shipped in a single 40-foot container. Small, sturdy houses can be built with whatever local materials are available, making them even more cost-effective, not to mention sustainable. The first QuaDror Home kit is just beginning production, and the studio hopes to build its first houses in Sierra Leone and Brazil next year.
Pilar Viladas | NYTimes