A Student Design Challenge from Instructables...
submissions due by June 20, 2022 (11:59pm PT)
Base your design on an approximately 20' long x 8' wide x 9'6” high volumetric module
(a cargo container.
Be relevant to one of the following uses:
Affordable Housing - Covid-era Public Space - Reimagined Outdoor Classroom - Entrepreneurial Pop-up
Demonstrate skills and knowledge from one or more of the following fields: architecture, engineering, construction, and/or the skilled trades
Utilize Autodesk software.
I love this idea. I believe there is an excess of used shipping containers and they are a solid framework to build upon. You can add windows or doors of any kind, even awnings. I have seen the cost range from $2000-4000. It is a great Maker Centered Learning experience.
I have seen them used as entertainment/bars in one city, a shopping mall in another, and tiny homes in several, even a portable STEM lab to take to schools. I met someone who was building them into "hunting cabins". So there are many uses that students could design theirs for. Granted, 160 sq. ft. is not a great amount of room, but that is part of the challenge...what can you do with a small footprint. Obviously Instructables wants you to make scale models and drawings...which any designer would do. But wouldn't it be awesome if schools could actually bring one on site and let kids take turns remodeling it.
What would you turn one in to?
Lots of ideas for Tiny Homes. There are many cross curricular connections. They could design them like they were in a specific historical timeframe. Obviously students will need to work with lots of measurements and geometry, as well as budgets for materials and furniture. Art will be very important for color schemes and materials/textures. I would think you would have many conversations about electricity and air flow (HVAC). Will it have plumbing? If you do this as a class, will you plan a whole Tiny House Development, with some common buildings (maybe from multiple containers, even the 40' ones). Common buildings could include a large kitchen, meeting areas, game room, washer/dryer. My development would include an outdoor gathering area, with a bonfire pit, a stage and movie screen. Maybe an exercise area. Nice connections to City planning and how cities started in various times and what does a city need.
There was an idea of a City/School partnership for pop up art gallery. Place a few containers together (form a T or an L or a V...) in a public area. Put student art work in them, mixed in with other local artists. Add some pretty lights and landscaping, maybe some sitting areas, a fire pit. Rotate the artwork.
Could you take the idea of Little Free Library and up-size it? Make a "Medium Free Library".
Lots of bookshelves and books, maybe some outdoor reading areas...hammocks. Got a vacant lot in your neighborhood?
A "Food Truck" is an obvious idea, but it could be a pop-up store of any kind. At a school, how about a concession stand at the stadium/ball field. What does your food truck/store need inside? Electrical? Water? HVAC? Storage? Stove? Refrigerator? Does the City have regulations about pop-ups or food trucks? What will be the name of your company? What will your logo be. You need to make a commercial marketing your store. Where would be a good place to locate or will you be mobile?
Someone had mentioned a "Makerspace in a box" concept that would be rented by schools and dropped off for a certain period of time. Outfit it with tools for teachers/students to utilize. This could be a solution for schools that have no space inside to put a MakerSpace (though every space is a MakerSpace) or those that can't purchase the tools yet.
I think a cargo container would make an interesting "container garden". It could be a home for a hydroponics setup. I wonder about turning one into a greenhouse style growing box. How much steel could you replace with glass/plexi before losing structural integrity? It could just be a garden shed, holding tools and materials for the planter boxes that are spread out around it, maybe some potting benches inside and out
I think all of the uses will allow us to have discussions about electricity and power generation (fossil/alternatives/renewables). If you need electricity, you have to plan how you are getting it and how much (think circuit breakers).
What other ideas do you have?
I think shipping containers make a great platform to build most anything. You can decorate them in so many ways. The proverbial "blank slate" to work from. They get us to practice repurposing vs throwing away.
I wonder if any school will actually bring one on site to let students experiment with?
If you do, please let me know.