B-Pro Design Computation Lab - Research Cluster 4

MOBO is a housing system with its own construction tools investigating issues surrounding housing we are facing today, such as unaffordable rents, and metropolitan development where land is scarce and expensive. MOBO envisions a cooperative-owned housing platform that reimagines the meaning of homeownership through automation and discrete design.

By recognising that in an increasingly fast-paced world, people’s needs and ways of living are changing, MOBO aims to transform the built environment to adapt to these flexible parameters while fundamentally transforming the meaning of home ownership from being for the few, to being for the many.

Instead of adapting standard modular solutions to allow for flexibility of the system, MOBO utilises computational methods to automatically generate mass-customised programs based on users’ needs, and aggregates components so that it is constantly adaptable to site, user preferences, and contexts. This is facilitated by the use of CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber), which has digital properties, as the main material. The CLT is assembled into MOBO ‘boxes’ by a standard industrial robot. In order to build a MOBO, a cooperative of users acquires a piece of land and can define basic program characteristics, such as assigning private, shared and utility spaces before the structure is assembled.

MOBO’s assembly and maintenance is carried out by mobile robots, the so-called “MoBots”. These are made of modular parts where each can carry out a single type of movement and be combined in different ways, resulting in an ecology of construction robots fit for a variety of tasks. At 3.6x0.6 meters, the MoBot components are large enough for standard building operations yet small enough to be flexible.

MOBO was developed over the course of 12 month, and exhibited at the annual Bartlett B-Pro Show to much acclaim.


B-Pro Research Cluster 4, the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

Design Tutors: Gilles Retsin, Manuel Jiménez García, Vicente Soler

Theory Tutor: Mollie Claypool

Students: Pofu Yang, Nadia Saki, MengMeng Zhao, Tian Chuan, Keshia Lim