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N55: Best "Practical Futurism" Information Site - N55 MANUALS
Do It Yourself Futurism - Plans, Maps, Designs & Instructions - Amazing solutions for modular, sustainable, low resource-use living.
Wow! I found this the other week, it's a great site filled with clear and detailed plans for everything from efficient shelters to urban gardening systems, energy saving devices, space-frame floating platforms and ergonomic furniture - all made from easily obtainable materials and simple components.
Here is a look at some of the simple and effective design-solutions for everyday needs available at N55
(the group's goal appears to be a fusion of art, philosophy, practicality, technology and service)

Portable & Modular Micro-Dwellings
construction materials and plans at N55 > Manuals > Micro-Dwelling
MICRO DWELLINGS is a system for making low cost dwellings of variable sizes for any number of persons. It consists of movable housing modules that can form different configurations on land, on water and under water. The system allows for a diversity of materials as well as changes and adaptations. They are modular & can be scaled up and down. The MICRO DWELLINGS can be built onto rooftops of existing buildings or be suspended from a bridge or a wall. The modules can be mounted on wheels to become mobile or be connected to form floating constructions.They can expand and grow together with other modules into small communities.
 
Low-Energy Small Truck
construction materials and plans at N55 > Manuals > Small Truck
SMALL TRUCK is a lightweight, lowcost, combo manpowered /electric vehicle that enables persons to move loads up to about 300 kg at low speeds. By transporting things using a SMALL TRUCK, the driver gets physical exercise while working. By combining these activities, time is also spared for other things. SMALL TRUCK provides shelter from wind and rain and can be equipped with various systems: platforms and trailers that can support micro-economical initiatives, like for example, a transport company, a small shop, restaurant, cinema or office, or it could be equipped to offer an unfoldable concert scene, public library, or a mobile home.
 
Space-Frame Dymaxion Dwelling
construction materials and plans at N55 > Manuals > Spaceframe
The N55 SPACEFRAME is a low-cost, movable lightweight construction that can easily be transformed. It is dimensioned as a living unit for 3-4 persons and demands practically no maintenance. The construction can be erected by anybody in a short time.
The N55 SPACEFRAME is configured as a truncated tetrahedron with an indoor ground floor of approx. 20 m˜. According to needs and economy, the size and configuration may be changed, and extra floors and rooms may be included: it is easy to add to the construction in stages.
The entire unit is constructed from small lightweight components which all can be handled without the use of cranes or other heavy machinery
. All components are materially minimised, have a low degree of manufacturing and are produced by a few simple machines, which anybody can operate. When stacked, the components take up very little space. The construction is assembled by hand. It can be erected directly onto the ground, since a cast foundation is not necessary. The structure can be dismantled and rebuilt many times over without damaging any of the components. The construction can be moved either fully assembled, or partly dismantled.
 
Small and Efficient Fish Farm
construction materials and plans at N55 > Manuals > Small Fish Farm
The SMALL FISHFARM enables persons to raise fish for their own consumption. It requires access to a sea, a river or a lake with clean water.
This system can provide a good supply of fish protein for a limited number of persons, while avoiding adverse effects on the fish and the surrounding waters.
The SMALL FISHFARM is constructed for extensive (rather than intensive or semi-intensive) cultivation techniques. The fish are not generally fed artificially, but live from algae, plankton, weeds and detritus that occur naturally in the water and on the sea floor.
The SMALL FISHFARM is modular, allowing multiple units to be joined together. Three polyethylene pipes are fixed in a triangular arrangement, end to end, using rubber corner fittings. They provide the floats that hold the fish nets. Three thinner pipes erected from the corners meet in the center to provide support for the top net while also adding further rigidity to the construction. All the materials are non-corrosive and non-toxic.
 
Dual-Tetrahedral Dynamic Chair
construction materials and plans at N55 > Manuals > Dynamic Chair
A new principle is applied in the construction of the DYNAMIC CHAIR.is constructed of two tetrahedra made of stainless, acid-resistant steel struts. One of them rests on the floor and sustains the other, which is movable. They are connected via a steel sphere. This enables the person who uses the chair to move the hips and back far more freely than is possible with conventional chairs. At the same time, the user will achieve a better posture, as one compensates for lack of balance by straightening the back. The simple construction of the chair has made it possible to employ few and light components with a low degree of manufacturing while ensuring considerable strength and durability.
The DYNAMIC CHAIR can replace conventional chairs in every instance. It gives the user a wide reach as the seat turns both vertically and horizontally in all directions. The user can make the seat more or less movable by regulating the tension of the rubber straps situated at the bottom of the chair. They have four positions. The height of the chair can be adjusted to fit the individual user.
 
Urban Gardening Systems
plans & info at N55 > Manuals > City Farming Plant Modules
CITY FARMING PLANT MODULES enable persons to grow plants in cities. The plant modules can be arranged in multiple formations directly on pavement, squares, etc. The plant modules consist of soil, which is wrapped up in semitransparent, semi-permeable fibre cloth made into flexible forms. Water is introduced into every module by hoses that can be connected to drain pipes on buildings or to other water sources. The parts of the hoses that are inside the modules are perforated, which allows the water to seep out into the soil. Rainwater will also penetrate the fibre cloth, which will retain moisture while allowing excess water to escape.
Vegetables may be harvested whenever they are ready to use. If the modules are handled carefully, the cloth can be used several times. However, the soil may need to be fertilized with compost, etc., before reusing.
   
Floatable, Rollable Micro-Dwelling / Shelter
plans & info at N55 > Manuals > Snail Shell System
The SNAIL SHELL SYSTEM is a low cost system that enables persons to move around, change their whereabouts and live in various environments. One unit supplies space for one person. It is mobile both on land and water. One person can move it slowly, either by pushing it like a wheel, walking inside it or on top of it. On water it can be rowed, moved by a kite or hooked up to a vessel, for example, a ferry. The unit rests on one flat side and can be anchored in lakes, rivers, harbours or at sea. On land, it can be placed in city spaces, fields, forests etc. The SNAIL SHELL SYSTEM is constructed from a cylindrical polyethylene tank. The tank was chosen for its non-toxic material, low weight and its ability to roll. A spherical tank would also work, but standard tanks of that shape are rare and expensive. Various devices are attached to the tank, adding different functions. Caterpillar tracks of rubber are fixed to rubber knobs on the tank. They protect the tank during transportation, add friction and make it easier to steer the unit. They also function as protective fenders when the system is moored. The caterpillar tracks can be removed.
More Designs at N55 MANUALS
 
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