The Future of Architecture: Unfolding Buildings?

Technology continues to evolve where and how we live, and the approaches we take to crafting the spaces we inhabit. BBC Reel recently sat down with David Martyn, chief executive officer of Ten Fold Engineering, to ask an interesting question: Will our future homes build themselves?

As Martyn explains, while the buildings might appear very complex, in reality they are quite simple. “They’re just hinging the building in such a way that it has two statuses: one is closed for transport, and the other is open for use, and it just vacillates between the two,” he says. “There is no technology other than the hinges and making sure that everything that goes up is counterbalanced with something that goes down. So, machines? No. Simple intelligent design? Yes.”

From stadiums and bleacher seating to medical emergency facilities and disaster relief shelters, to beach houses and more, the very foundation of the unfolding building is centered upon something which we humans cannot avoid: change.

“On the one hand we have the unfolding buildings, but within the buildings we have unfolding worktops, unfolding kitchens, unfolding bathrooms. One of the huge advantages of using this technology with an interior is that transformation of the use of space is extremely easy so it means a bedroom can become a living room, or a living room can become a kitchen at the press of the button,” Martyn says.

Whether it is providing disaster relief or responding to the evolving needs of a city, Martyn says Ten Fold is unique because “you can actually respond to changing circumstances” in real-time. And for Martyn, buildings that are capable of adaptation will be drivers of the future.