A home gym is considered a luxury. But when your home is a gym, powered through exercise, what was once a luxury is transformed into necessity.
The JF-Kit House by the Spanish design firm Elii is an experiment in “domestic fitness,” rendering “the image of a possible future where citizens produce part of their domestic energy requirements with their own physical activities.” Each room features a fancifully named exercise station that would, theoretically, help create energy to power the home, including an “arm workout bureau,” a “spinning kitchen,” and a “triceps greenhouse.” A video shows the home’s imagined inhabitant lifting weights, cycling, and doing calisthenics as part of his house’s everyday upkeep and daily chores like cooking.
According to the artist’s statement, “the house offers an ironical model of citizenship for future sustainable societies: the ‘Jane Fonda model of citizenship’” (the fitness celebrity whose initials the home bears) “which defines the ideal citizen as an individual who can satisfy all her domestic energy needs through her own bodily exercise.”
The architects describe the structure as “parasitic” since it could be affixed onto existing rooftops or walls to provide power. (Last year, it was installed on the roof terrace of the architecture center CIVA in Brussels.) But more than anything, it’s a showpiece meant to engage people thinking about issues about sustainability, design, and health in a new, more integrated way.
The artists pose the following questions with the project: “What kinds of bodies are imagined to fulfill the promises of these sustainable futures? What kind of domestic infrastructures are required to produce those bodies? What are the new domestic rituals, practices and habits that will have to be inscribed and enacted by those bodies? And more importantly: Which bodies are excluded from participating in those sustainable futures and their promises?”
Decide for yourself by watching the video.