Haberdasher’s Puzzle

The future of architectural innovation leads us to design for a world that has increasingly sought a need for resource manageability, sustainability, and adaptability. The London based architectural outfit The D*Haus Company has recently unveiled their design for a new concept in housing; the D*Dynamic. The  “design is based on the Haberdasher’s Puzzle, discovered by English mathematician Henry Dudeney, which allows an equilateral triangle cut into four parts to be folded into a square while all pieces remain in contact with at least one other.” (Holloway, 1). The D*Dynamic takes cues from the 20th century mathematical problem by being able to reconfigure itself into eight various options.

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The house is installed onto tracks which are fixed to the ground. The user then can control the house via a panel inside to change with the season or even the hour of the day! The home is well suited for the winter months through thick insulating walls and, with its adaptability, is able to shift the wall faces to capture optimal sunlight. This also applies to the day time as the user can control the house to have the bedroom face the sun in the morning and then when they change rooms throughout the day the house can rotate in the direction of the most daylight (at least).

According to the firm, the quantity of energy needed to propel the movement of the structure has not been sufficiently studied to report an accurate number.

This innovation in design represents a unique solution to the problem of resource management, sustainable design, and adaptability for the user. In today’s architectural world there is such a focus on developing ‘new’ materials to save energy and money that improvement on past design often gets overshadowed. This project exemplifies this by inventing a way to both save energy and offering the client the option to customize their home…any time they want! While this project may not be the next savior for the third world it does tap into the market of middle to upper income consumers living in the northern hemisphere. Part of design in relation to architecture is the ability to draw on past reference in order to create for future need.


1. Holloway, James. Transforming house turns inside out for summer, has 8 configurations. Gizmag. 19 November 2012. Online Magazine.

2. http://www.thedhaus.com/


One comment

  1. This is an enormously evocative concept, which obviously has a whole lot challenges to getting off the ground. While the geometric origin makes for an attractive design and story, I’m not sure that it’s not something of a hindrance to achieving the basic goal of a house which transforms according to conditions, turning “inside out” for winter, and so on. Finding ways of simplifying the system while maintaining the core concepts could broaden the houses appeal (beyond fairly wealthy people with sustainable sensibilities and idiosyncratic taste, along with an easygoing or nonexistent Home Owners Association, a group which is as small as it is wonderful) and really add to the conversation about how to make our lives more sustainable. Reactive architecture like this certainly has a great deal to offer us, and there’s no denying the beauty of this particular design.

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