WikiHouse: Build Your Own House in 24 Hours


Imagine taking your Google Sketchup creation for a house and having it milled out and assembled all within 24 hours.  WikiHouse, an Open Community project that puts you in the driver’s seat of design and construction has recently unleashed the opportunity for anyone to realize their own vision of architecture.


You can use your own design and enhance it with other components via the open online community. Once your design is completed, the model is used by WikiHouse to create drawings, which are ready to be milled out of 18mm locally sourced . The pieces can be easily assembled with no power tools, with ribs spaced at 600mm and lateral stabilizers to ensure structural integrity.

The entire process requires no formal knowledge of construction and is extremely adaptable for your own personal customization.


Cite: Winstanley, Tim. "WikiHouse: Build Your Own House in 24 Hours" 15 Aug 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 16 Sep 2014. <>


      • Thumb up Thumb down 0

        Its not the technology that is scary. Advances in Technology are a great thing. but what is the point of being creative if there are no clients out there to work for – because they are too busy designing their own horrendous pile of danger. This undercuts the value of design.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      Well you still have transportation, refurbishment, health, institutional, educational, corporate, large scale residential, retail, leisure, hospitality… projects left available to your skills by this process. Chin up!

  1. Thumb up Thumb down +3

    Yet another reason the field of architecture is poorly paid and has declining respect. A client doesn’t pay for the design, they are paying for am ARCHITECT’s vast experience and knowledge in building and design there of.
    But anyway, due to building codes all over the world it can never work as your average “hobby” designer will have almost no idea of their existence and thus probably kill themselves when their monstrosity falls on their head as “The entire process requires no formal knowledge of construction”…..scary.
    Whats next, wikisurgery.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Moan, Moan, Architects.

    Have people not been building their own homes for thousands of years?

    Work harder. It’s not called WikiArchitect.
    There’s a good reason why the Architecture was the most affected profession during the GFC in Europe/UK. We’re completely dispensable. Did you not already know that?

    They might be able to design their own building, but there’s certainly no guarantees that it’s going to be as lovely, or beautiful as ours anyway!

  3. Thumb up Thumb down +5

    1. Try getting a building permit for the package that is shipped after you design it.

    2. What about the on-site utilities?

    3. Will the Wiki-house you’ve designed be energy-efficient or an energy hog?

    4. How well will it fit into the neighborhood … or don’t you care?

    5. We architects are all glad that you’re getting an inkling about why architects spend years being trained in their profession. Just as we found out at the beginning of our studies, the more we became interested, the more we realized how much more we had to learn. The more you learn by trying to create your dream house, the better a client you become for the architect you may ultimately ask for sound design advice.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    I Don’t understand the fear of such a process.

    The designers value is in ensuring that the open source infomation available is robust enough to allow important issues to be addressed, such as those of local distinctivness and energy efficiency as mentioned in previous comments.

    Don’t dismiss the idea solely because you can’t attach an existing fee structure to it.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down +4

    Architects: Open sourcing the design process doesn’t leave out the professional. It in fact will ensure that the design is sound, energy friendly, low-cost and easy to construct, because you can freely contribute to this process.

    Being a software developer, who routinely give away my work for others to use and correct, I can see this working for deeply experienced architects too.

    In return, your designs will spread far and wide. If you credit yourself for your work, you will get more recognition for your talents and more people will want to hire you for specialized work. Those who build wikihouses probably couldn’t afford you anyway.

    Don’t let ego or a desire for vehemently making money on everything you do block others from experiencing your work, by suggesting changes or improvements to wikihouse projects.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I don’t see this working for colder countries. And I don’t see the threat either. Architecture is something that hasn’t ever reached the targeted group anyway.
    We’re working right now at School in the development of a structure that accommodates many of this spaces, so people “print” their rooms and plug them into a utility box and “design” their own flat. Big scale lego. Social Housing. Prof is very excited about our project.

Share your thoughts