If all walls and opaque surfaces were to disappear, leaving only see-through materials, what effect would that have on how we perceive the world around us? Designers present transparency in all sorts of objects, from washing machines and kayaks to entire houses, as a way to get a clearer picture of how we interact with and connect to our environments and each other.
PurePods: Clear Vacation Homes in New Zealand
Tiny vacation homes in the countryside of New Zealand, these ‘PurePods’ have all-glass floors, walls and ceilings to give guests uninterrupted views of their beautiful surroundings in every room – even the shower.
Clear Acrylic Car
All of the inner workings of a full-sized functional car are on display through a transparent acrylic body on this clear car by TWR Automotive, a company that manufactures auto parts. The car may not actually be road-ready, intended for exhibitions only, but it looks pretty cool and it’s fun to imagine watching the parts in motion.
Glass House Series by Santambrogiomilano
Designed to completely immerse occupants in nature in any location around the world, the glass houses by Santambrogiomilano consist of structural glass on every surface except the ground floor. Different versions are adapted for different climactic conditions, with ‘Snow House’ able to withstand heavy snow loads, for example. Want privacy in one particular room? Sliding curtains make it possible, but the houses are intended for places where peeping toms are not a concern.
Better hope your kitchen cleaning habits are on point – the ‘Infinity Kitchen’ by Dutch firm MVRDV won’t be forgiving with crumbs and streaks, as it displays everything from your stored food to your flatware and even features a clear cooktop and sink. “I see this as part of a wider dream, this kitchen,” says designer Winy Maas. “Imagine if not only our kitchens were transparent, but the walls through to the neighbor and the next neighbor even. This would create infinite perspectives in our cities. It would make within our claustrophobic environments possibly a view into the direction of the mountains or the sea.”
Crystal-clear kayaks are actually catching on, with models like the Molokini, Crystal Explorer Kayak and See Through Canoe offering users views of the aquatic life beneath them as they float. Made of Lexan for durability, these transparent vessels start at around $1,000 each.