The Nano House

What can housing design learn from the Tata Nano. This is the worlds cheapest mass produced car. The Indian car manufacturer set themselves the challenge of producing a car that could retail at 100,000 Rupees, around £1,500.00. We like a challenge like that. Everyone said it was impossible and that just spurred them on to do and see things differently.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Nano is that having succeeded in releasing the car to the market the people didn't want it. It is not that the emerging middle classes of India wouldn't like an affordable car. Its that having bought one, everyone else would know that you were poor. It seems we buy cars more for their status than practical use. This is a shame. It suggests a whole lot of people are wasting money on a more expensive car just so they can be seen to be in a more expensive car. Amazingly the answer to selling more Nano's is to put the price up. Adam Smith was wrong about the value of production. He had not appreciated the fickle nature of mankind. Form it seems is Function.

I wonder what lessons this can teach us in the challenge of creating the first Nano House.