N55 is a collective of artists based in Denmark who see art as part of everyday life and who are particularly interested in architecture and design. N55 is a non-commercial platform and they document their works and interventions in the form of manuals, so they can be developed by third parties.
Their vision of a democratically organized collaborating body of self-reliant individuals is described in their writing and embodied in their designs. Most of their writing takes the form of manuals for Wysing Arts Centre they have produced a Walking House manual.
Danish artists N55 bring their Walking House to Wysing following an Interact, Arts Council funded, placement.
The concept of the Walking House came out of N55’s residency at Wysing in 2007, during which they researched the lifestyles and legal concerns relating to some of Cambridge’s community of people of traveler origin. N55 have taken the concept of the historic model of the 18th century Romani horse carriage – as a tool for mobility that has a minimal effect on the environment – and re-worked it for the 21st century. Working closely with specialists at MIT Institute of Engineering in Massachusetts they have built subsequently built a fully functioning Walking House – the house walks using adapted linear actuators. The design allows the structure to move slowly at the same pace as a human can walk, about 5km an hour in real terms.
Walking House is a modular system that allows people to live a peaceful nomadic life, moving slowly through the landscape with minimal impact on the environment. It collects energy from its surroundings using solar and wind power, it is not reliant on any road infrastructure and can move on all types of terrain.
The Walking House adapts to people rather than people having to adapt to the house, so by adding further modules human social needs and changing demands from single living occupancy changing to families can be accommodated. Walking House forms various sizes of communities – even walking villages when two or more units are added together.