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live the box: an international design competition

The idea came to Christopher Stone as he was looking out the window of his office near Newark Liberty International Airport one day, and his eye fell on shipping containers. Lots of huge, empty industrial containers stacked up high, row after row.

“It seemed like they were just waiting there for some new purpose,” said Mr. Stone, an architect. He thought, “Why not create something with them that would benefit people?” And, “How about housing for the poor?”

But when he got a group together from the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects to talk it over, they quickly came to the conclusion that this would be presumptuous. “So often, those with limited means feel they are being sequestered and forced into something substandard,” Mr. Stone said. “Why would they want to live in shipping containers if no one else does?”

And then, it occurred to the architects: “We should figure out how to create housing so cool that everybody would want to live in it.”

There followed more than a year of intellectual ferment, during which the group roped in various Newark officials as well as the architecture school at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The result was Live the Box: An International Design Competition.

(via the new york times)

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