Welcome / Hello World

One of the coolest things about WikiHouse is that, from the beginning, it has been clear that this was a vision shared by many people. We need to transform the way the world builds; making construction simpler, healthier, less wasteful, less carbon-intensive and more democratic – and the way to do that is by developing common solutions that everyone can use and contribute to, and developing better ways to share information and collaborate.

When we formed WikiHouse Foundation (now Open Systems Lab) 8 years ago, we made a very deliberate decision to set it up as a non-profit. The upsides of that decision are obvious (we are still here), but so are the downsides: limited resources meant progress was slow, development was iterative, and our stretched time meant we weren’t doing a great job of improving the website, or figuring out how to make it easier for the WikiHouse community to collaborate and contribute.

So, if you’ve been a member of the WikiHouse community for a while – we just want to say thank you for being so patient – and thanks for all your goodwill and support.

Last year, thanks to two chunks of support, one from Innovate UK and one from the National Lottery Communities Fund, we finally got the opportunity to expand the WikiHouse team, and do some stuff we’ve been wanting to do for ages. First, to get WikiHouse Skylark off the drawing board and into the testing lab. Second, to build a better website. And third, to work out how to help the WikiHouse community exchange information better.

The story so far:


In Feb we launched the public BETA of WikiHouse Skylark (version 0.1). Since then, the Skylark blocks and design kits have been downloaded 15,000 times - and we’ve received loads of really useful bits of feedback from people who have spotted bugs etc.

The first pilot project using Skylark was on site by April, and we went to join in. That immediately inspired us to make some further improvements, which @Clayton and @Gabriele have been sweating and testing since. They will appear fairly soon in the form of Skylark 0.2. We’re hoping that after that the product will begin to stabilise a bit so we can begin to focus more on documentation, broadening the range of blocks, and improving the overall process. :crossed_fingers:

Skylark 200

We’ve created Skylark 200, a version of the system specifically designed for smaller structures like garden studios (Phil of Real Living Homes has gone and built one to test it out. It works.)


@Mel is hosting regular online events, which have been brilliant – so we’re going to keep doing those. Keep your eye on the news section, and on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. We’re very much open for requests and suggestions for themes you’d like to hear about, or project teams you’d like to hear from.

This forum

Over the years we’ve had lots of conversations about the right kind of infrastructure for the WikiHouse community, and tried a few experiments. Different platforms are good for different types of thing. Previously, some formats seemed like they would cause more confusion than they would clear up. But we – and some of you – have wanted to set up a WikiHouse forum for a while, and finally – here it is. Like everything – it is an experiment. We’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions for ways to improve it.

The WikiHouse Slack will continue to exist for now as a place to chat and connect in a more DM-y way.

What’s next?

As well as continuing to develop and test Skylark, increasingly our attention is going to be turning to growing the network of manufacturers and installers around WikiHouse (initially in the UK), and companies providing design services. We’re also working with certifiers to make it easier to get projects signed off and mortgaged.

We’re also working on some cool stuff to make it easier to design with WikiHouse and estimate likely costs. Watch this space.

In the meantime – welcome to this new Forum!

Please do:

Give the code of conduct a read.

Introduce yourself, especially if you’re outside the UK and want to connect with local collaborators where you are

Post questions you want to know the answers to

Post updates about stuff you’ve built

Help answer questions if you can

Feedback your ideas or suggestions to us

Thanks so much to everyone who has contributed to getting WikiHouse to where it is - not least to the brilliant team at Open Systems Lab who are throwing everything they have at the work of turning WikiHouse from an idea into a reality, and from a reality into a new normal.

– Alastair

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Thanks Alastair. I’m really glad you guys have started a proper web forum. It’s looking great so far. I’m looking forward to discussing Skylark.

My first bit of feedback on the forum would be to solicit web forum feedback here on the forum itself, instead of through the wikihouse.cc/feedback link. Either in a Web Forum category or perhaps in the Join the community category with a “web forum feedback” tag. That way we can all discuss and improve on each others suggestions.

This is a great shout – thank you. We’ve changed it.

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