Photos by Abi Jones
Who says you can’t take it with you? “Portable Home,” a wearable-shelter concept by three Middlesex University students in London, is part wacky ensemble, part escape strategy. Franziska Lusser, Hanna Nielsen, and Luca Romanyi, who hail from Germany, Sweden, and Hungary, respectively, designed Portable Home as a response to their nomadic existence. “As all of us are foreigners, we feel like we are always on the go,” Romanyi tells Ecouterre. “We have access to only a small part of our belongings. A ‘portable home’ can be seen as substitute for the feeling of being home.”
A TENT OF ONE’S OWN
In addition to a skirt that turns into a tent (complete with a window view), the outfit also includes a bag that unfolds into a shelf for displaying books and other mementos. At its crux, Portable Home describes the conflict between the desire to explore and our longing for the familiar.
At its crux, Portable Home describes the conflict between the desire to explore and our longing for the familiar.
“We get the chance to travel all around the world, study in different countries, learn about other cultures, and make new friends with various backgrounds, which is great,” Romanyi explains. “But on the other hand, during our journey, we always leave precious people and places behind.”
An itinerant way of life—one that is as familiar to refugees as it is to international students—translates to temporary accommodations and a limited number of possessions. “This kind of lifestyle is liberating and frustrating at the same time, and Portable Home represents both sides of it,” she adds.