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This architect wants to build levitating houses to eliminate the threat of flooding

magnetic levitating houses thailand floods
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Are you still holding out for a future full of flying cars? There’s one thing you probably haven’t thought about. Where do you think you’re going to park it? In your flying house, of course!

In all seriousness, there are some very useful applications for levitating houses. As sea levels rise, plenty of cities are experiencing flooding — It’s an issue that’s only set to continue. While some cities have experimented with other types of raised up houses, others question what if houses didn’t have to touch the ground at all?

Lira Luis came up with the concept while working on another installation, which was located on water and needed removable attachments. She decided to use magnets for the attachments, and noticed that when she held the magnets the wrong way they repelled each other, even through water. While levitating magnets have been used in things like train systems, Luis says she hadn’t ever seen them used in architecture, according to a report from Fast CoExist.

Luis is originally from the Philippines, and her goal is to build a model version of the system in a Filipino village where flooding is already a serious issue. Currently, many people live on houses raised up on stilts, but even that can be problematic considering the rising sea levels and the fact that it’s difficult to predict how high water levels will rise.

Her ideas are even more futuristic than they already sound — she imagines people initially using ladders or bridges to get to their homes, but eventually, people might even fly up to their houses using jetpacks.

Sure, it’s a bit of a crazy idea, but Luis is committed to trying it out, even if it ends up being totally impractical. In fact, instead of using architecture software to build it, she’s simply building a scale model. The model she’s building now is small. It weighs only 13 ounces and hovers 1.5 inches from the ground, but eventually the goal is to build a full-scale version of the building. If the idea does work, the building could even be built differently. Instead of first building a foundation, the house could be built in the air with scaffolding.

There is, of course, no guarantee that the idea will work at all. As noted in the Fast CoExist story, Martin Simmons, a physics researcher at UCLA says that not only would it be extremely expensive, but there are also “a million other problems.”

Only tome will tell if her model works, but in the meantime, it’s fun to imagine the house of the future.

Christian de Looper
Christian’s interest in technology began as a child in Australia, when he stumbled upon a computer at a garage sale that he…
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