N-State, A flexible construction system for new housing typologies

UK Timber Expo 2018 (UK) / BLOXHUB (DK) / Copenhagen University Forestry Deparment (DK)


2018 / 2019 / on-going

Project phases:
Concept development, design, fabrication



Y.I.P. Engineering (UK)

Royal College of Art (UK)

UK Timber Expo (UK)


Grymsdyke Farm (UK)

Hanson Plywood Ltd. (UK)


BetaFactory (DK)

Keflico (DK)

This research project investigates the common observation that contemporary living spaces and housing units do not act as isolated objects, but rather as hubs within a larger network of everyday life. One which has a variety of domestic systems and devices that extend, enhance, attach to and augment our more traditional notions of what constitutes a house. As such the modernist paradigm of ‘form follows function’ is by no means a valid description of how we should conceive our living spaces. Not only because form outlives, by far, the regularly altered functions of today’s buildings, but more so because the need for rapid and frequent alterations should reflect the way we design and conceive buildings.
The N-state system investigates building form as impermanent, rejects the idea of ´post-rationalisation’ in the design process, and orients itself towards an idea of design freedom through ‘pre-rationalisation’. The project explores modules / small structures and connections related to the idea of design for dis- and reassembly, allowing for housing schemes that can alter their nature, grow and relocate. The project addresses the idea of flexibility through digital and physical prototyping at the scale of the element, a crossing of surfaces, a stacking of “rings” and at the scale of the “room”. The flexibility is made clear through a change of configuration; N (number of) states, where the structure designed and constructed at Grymsdyke farm, state 1, was been dis-assembled and reassembled in state 2 for the UK timber expo in Birmingham 2018. Later at Bloxhub (DK) and Copenhagen University Forestry Department (DK) in 2019.