Season Chaser

The Concept

The Season Chaser is a small town composed of 60 houses that could be moved on flatcar wagons and assembled in a few days by a robotic crane. Owners would have the possibility of moving with their whole village like nomads, in the comfort of their own homes while still chasing the best weather in each season. 

The Context

The Season Chaser was inspired by the project architecture of Montreal’s Habitat 67. It was also inspired by ‘Snowbirds,’ a term used in North America referring to people who migrate south every year to avoid winter—and then migrate back north to avoid too-hot summers! The idea behind the Season Chaser is to use existing rail tracks and electric locomotives to ferry some communities each winter and summer in a modern twist on old nomadic lifestyles.

How It Works

The frame of the wagons could be built out of reinforced steel, aluminium, or a composite material depending on the budget and the owner’s requirements. The windows could be built using a transparent composite polymer that’s stronger than regular glass, better suited for transport, and less at risk of breaking. This polymer could also be made to turn dark for privacy or sun protection. Owners could design their own interior (lights, walls, furniture etc.) and exterior (terrace, pool, or garden). The early wagons would need to be built to fit on existing flatcars and use existing rail corridors owned by railway companies.

Locomotives would be rented to move the village composed of up to 200 cars. To minimize vibration during transit, a stabilizing system could be developed and installed in some units. The challenge would be to design wagons that can be stacked rapidly and securely by cranes mounted on some of the flat cars. The height of the village could be limited to 3 stories in the beginning and increased based on how well it behaves under strong winds.

Some of the wagons could be engineered as community-accessible rooms (multi-purpose room, greenhouse, library etc.), and slide-outs would be available to increase living space. Some wagons could be designed as garages, tool sheds, etc. Of course, the land used should be owned by the community, but it could also be rented out for the duration of the stay.

Season Chaser could harvest the sun’s energy using solar tiles. Vibrating poles like the vortex could also be deployed next to the village. On-site infrastructure would be required at each village (water, sewer, local electric utility). Season Chaser associations would also develop ways to reduce consumption and keep waste to a minimum.

What It’s Used For

The Season Chaser proposes a completely different way of living, closer to our nomadic ancestors. They could be used to escape rough weather by moving to warmer regions during winter. They could also be used to travel around the continent, meet new people, and bring expertise to other towns, and each village could grow to hundreds of houses.

There are millions of snowbirds that travel south each year. Most of them have two houses, and most of the time they are not located in prime spots. Imagine in the future if they could travel with their eco-friendly houses, find hidden spots only accessible by rail, and spend both winter and summer with their friends? This could become a whole new way of spending your retirement days.

The Designer

I would like to thank Martin Rico for creating the images of Season Chaser concept. Martin lives near Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studied Design at the University of Buenos Aires and now works as a Freelance Industrial Designer. Martin also designed the Zuuloo human robot interface system and the Ryno personal hydrofoil concept.