A.R.M. is a design solution to Arctic Perspective Initiative’s (API) recent design competition for a mobile media-centric habitation and work unit to be deployed throughout the circumpolar region. My team was comprised of Alli Dryer (of Good Fulton & Farrell), Brian David, Jeff Harris, and myself. All images were produced using SketchUp, SU Podium, and Photoshop.
We designed A.R.M. as two pieces – a module for living and working, and a frame for transporting the module and harvesting energy. During transportation, the module fits snugly within the aluminum frame, runners attach to the frame, and the entire unit may be pulled by a snowmobile across the snow and ice. While traveling on this type of terrain, six wheels are stowed in the bottom of the module, providing buoyancy in the event that A.R.M. would be required to float. On dry land and/or roads, these wheels may attach to the frame in place of the runners, so that A.R.M. may be towed behind a truck.
Once it arrives at its destination, A.R.M. is separated into its two components. The module has feet that descend, to raise the module above the ground, preventing snowdrift from blocking the entrance. The frame is rotated into its vertical orientation, and wind turbines are put in place to harness wind energy. Translucent plastic is inflated into the frame, turning the frame into a greenhouse. A.R.M. is a self-contained, zero-impact unit, which may be used as a stand-alone unit, or may be combined with other A.R.M.’s to make a larger overall space. The frame is used to generate 5kW power, and to support the telecommunications network that will provide a means of communication between other A.R.M.’s and with the larger world community.
The live-work module is designed to accommodate technology equipment fitting within a standard 19-inch frame. In this frame system, broken or outdated components may be easily removed and replaced. Sensors integrated into A.R.M. collect data relating to, but not limited to: climate; microclimate; local soil, ocean, and ice characteristics; electromagnetic radiation; local flora and fauna.