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The term ‘home’ is used somewhat generously in this context, but if a home’s primary purpose is to provide shelter, it fits – and focusing too much on function in this case would be an easy way to miss the point.

Sure, the Bao House (a play on both Bau Haus and the Chinese word for ‘bulge’) sleeps three, but what is neat about it is its mode of transport – you can tow it along on a trike – and its lightweight visual effect.

Like ultra-light concrete, spray polyurethane foam forms what looks like loose material to the casual observer, lending the piece an air of lightness and simplicity, reinforced by a translucent ceiling panel. So the appearance of lightness is real, but the source of it is not at all what one would expect.

The result is the visual opposite of the material used to mold the hard substance, but the impact is much the same – a surprise to those who reach out and touch it. Design by Dot Architectsand images by Yuming Baia &Vanessa Chen.