Travelling has become the new chic and is causing quite a stir. In today’s world, being “wanderlust” is a personality trait. But devoting your entire life to this passion of travelling is no joke.

The alluring notion of wanderlust and the ability to shift away from home with only a few belongings, or questioning the entire concept of a “home” on the broader understanding is a desire that hypothetically everyone has had at some point in their lives. Home is a symbol of permanence and the physical representation of stability and security for many people. 

Thanks to the popularity of city planning, town planning, and the paradigm of domestic design, a deceptive picture of developing permanent cities and suburb surroundings as the ideal form of living have been developed. Almost simultaneously, nomadic architecture is a concept that designers have returned to over and over again. Designers have been known to blend the efficiency of urban dwellings with characteristics of a nomadic architecture 

The nomadic lifestyle appeals to people because it signifies the prospect of defying symbols of stability and permanence in favor of exploring the natural world and being able to adapt to a range of living situations with ease. This ambition has resulted in the creation of mobile structures for the urban nomad that can serve as a temporary office, residence, or even a whole community.

History of Nomadic Architecture

For a long time, the first generation of primitive people did not build a city or a house, and they lived in the shade of trees or in tents. Some built crude huts and dwellings throughout time, but the majority decided to remain in nature. A common misconception about nomadic architecture is that it is a dwelling environment on wheels or anything that is literally “mobile.”

A few notable examples of nomadic architecture are listed below to give a clear picture of the early nomadic architecture modules and styles around the world.

Afar Mat Tents 

They use a grid frame with mats throughout, albeit the size of the frame and materials used vary greatly depending on the time of migration and the availability of local materials. 

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Afar Mat Huts_©
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Afar Mat Huts_©

Horse-Drawn Travellers

A horse-drawn vehicle is a piece of motorized equipment that is pulled by a single horse or a team of horses. These vehicles had two or four wheels and were used to transport people and/or cargo. They were previously common around the world, but vehicles and other kinds of self-propelled transportation have mostly replaced them. 

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Horse Drawn Travellers_©
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Horse Drawn Travellers_©

Kyrgyz Yurt

Traditional yurts have steeply sloping roofs, far steeper than Mongolian gers, which helps to avoid the internal pillars that support the central ring in Mongolian gers. Three layers of sheep’s wool are used to make the felt: white on one side, brown/black wool on the other, and a thicker layer of brown/black wool in the middle. Brown wool is far less expensive to buy than white wool, yet being just as good as insulation.

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Kyrgyz Yurt_©
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Kyrgyz Yurt_©

Advantages of Nomadic Architecture

Nomadic architecture has the potential to provide a form of housing for the less fortunate – people who are homeless or have been forced to flee their homes as a result of conflict or natural disaster. Nomadic people have always been required to reinvent themselves, defend their culture, and fight for survival in this sense. 

Nomadic architecture has the power to present a new way of living and fundamentally revolutionize the way we eat, sleep, work, and exist in our daily lives on the go when our lives are not focused on one spot.

Most of these dwellings are under 40 square meters and have limited storage, allowing residents to transport only a percentage of their personal items. These tiny houses encourage social interaction among residents while providing a sense of privacy in their surroundings.

Adopting a nomadic architecture can be a genuine response to housing shortages or a bold rejection of traditional property ownership structures. These structures’ potential demonstrates how architects are developing innovative ways to escape our modern reality in the quest for a more inquisitive and environmentally conscious way of existence.

Here are some examples of Nomadic Architecture in the Modern Era:

Abeer Seikaly Structural Fabric Refugee Shelters

Abeer Seikaly’s emergency shelter concept Weaving a home is a folding structural fabric shelter that can adapt to different conditions while still providing modern conveniences like heat, running water, and electricity. The technology, which is made up of high-strength plastic tubing woven into a flexible fabric membrane and molded into sine-wave curves, generates “a technical, structural fabric that expands and compresses.

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Abeer Seikaly Structural Fabric Refugee Shelters_©
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Abeer Seikaly Structural Fabric Refugee Shelters_©

Tricycle House by People’s Architecture Office

The Tricycle House is a man-powered structure that allows for off-grid living. A sink and stove, a bathtub, a water tank, and furniture that can morph from a bed to a dining table and bench to a bench and countertop are all included in the house’s amenities. The sink, stove, and bathtub are all capable of collapsing into the house’s front wall. The house’s Tricycle Garden can be planted with grass, trees, vegetables, and other plants, and numerous gardens can be merged to create a big public green space.

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Tricycle House by Peoples Architecture Office_©
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Tricycle House by Peoples Architecture Office_©

Jero Flat Pack Yurt by Trakke & Uula Jero

The Trakke and Uula Jero Flat Pack Yurt are built for simple transport, as befitting a nomadic lifestyle. The four-meter-wide marine-grade plywood yurt folds down to a one-square-meter footprint. This is a quintessential example of nomadic architecture where a handful of people can erect the structure in 1-2 hours without using any tools. In engineering, CNC fabrication techniques are used, allowing complicated shapes to be carved out with minimal waste and without compromising structural integrity.

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Jero Flat Pack Yurt by Trakke & Uula Jero_©
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Jero Flat Pack Yurt by Trakke & Uula Jero_©


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Iran Nomad Tours. (2019). The Origin of Nomadism | Evolving Nomads Through Time – Nomad Tours. [online] Available at:

Wikipedia. (2021). Horse-drawn vehicle. [online] Available at:

 [Accessed 2 Sep. 2021].

ArchDaily. (2020). Nomadic Architecture: A New Way Of Living on the Go. [online] Available at:


Abhishek Guha is an architecture undergraduate who wishes to create life altering spaces & experiences through his designs . His interests - writing, fashion, and cooking, are as erratic as he is. As a spontaneous extrovert who enjoys meeting new people, he seeks knowledge about the architectural paradigm while exploring the world.

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