Working Remote While Traveling - Digital Nomad Information Series
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366 D. CELENTO
large-scale societal changes—many of which have already come to pass. Here, I propose a possible domestic solution for digital nomads—one that relies on open-source standards to encourage the creation of diverse free- market products to create mass-customized dwellings that are more flexible, adaptable, affordable, recyclable, and mobile—a typology I refer to as a Jump Box.
2. Brief Contextual Background
Has our culture become definitively rooted as settlers or might our nomadic past still play a role in our cultural unconscious? The emergence of agricultural technology, introduced a mere 13,000 years ago in Syria (BBC News, 1999), transformed once nomadic cultures into settlement dwellers in a fashion so pervasive that the thought of nomadism is almost heretical today. Yet, we are seeing increased movement among developed cultures in unprecedented numbers—enabled by burgeoning global trade and mobile communication/computation devices.
People in the U.S. are now moving, on average, once every five years (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005, Table 35). In this global shuffle email, blogs, forums, and text messaging are redefining social networks that were once circumscribed by geographic proximity. With global population growth currently projected to swell from 6.6 to 8 billion by 2025 (Population Reference Bureau, 2006), urban areas will gain eighteen times more rapidly than rural ones and sixty percent of the population are projected to live in urban areas by 2030 (UN-HABITAT, 2004/05). Yet, city dwelling has already become unaffordable for many.
Mobile communication and computing devices have lessened the penalty for these moves, but have dwellings responded? There exists a partial solution in the modern RV (Recreational Vehicle). RV ownership is currently at an all-time high, with one in twelve vehicle owning households currently possessing one (Curtin, R, 2005). However, the RV is a dwelling best suited for rural environments and unwelcome (if not prohibited) from most urban settings. In conjunction with mobile technologies, the RV offers many the increased ability to couple work and pleasure regardless of location—except where they may be most desirable—in cities.
For increasing numbers, RVs have become a beneficial form of temporary or permanent living reinvigorated by wireless voice and data technology, easy financing (complete with second home tax benefits), integration of premium technologies, advanced energy management, integration of green elements (like biodiesel fuel and solar electricity generation) and perhaps most appealingly—“drop-of-the-hat” mobility surrounded by one’s own belongings. With a large number of RV owners
3rd Int’l ASCAAD Conference on Em‘body’ing Virtual Architecture [ASCAAD-07, Alexandria, Egypt]
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