A Crisis of Conscience and Containers

In the wake up the economic, housing, and automaker crises, we find ourselves in he midst of a new global dilemma — enter: The Shipping Container Crisis. Yes, The Shipping Container Crisis. An NPR piece describes the ready-for-cinema story of complex personal relationships and interweaving lives (paging Paul Haggis…) affected by the lack of the globally standardized intermodal freight devices we’ve naively taken for granted for so long. From a farmer in South Dakota to a mother in Japan, no one is safe. Despite proof that global markets and economic factors are the cause, it seems pretty clear just who we really should be blaming — architects. Specifically, those architects who selfishly insist on working with the rapidly depleting natural resource that is the shipping container. How dare you, LOT-EK. How dare you MVRDV. And you, Adam Kalkin, with your indecently decadent portable Illy café…how. dare. you (But, um… that Yahoo airbag proposal is pretty damn cool. We would kind of like to see that one built!). No longer viewable as a mere alternative building block, the shipping container should—no, must!— be re-repurposed! Let’s close the galleries, offices, and quik houses. Moreover, we may need to appropriate trailer parks and ship our soy products overseas in the ephemeral communities! In the name of preserving our national economy, let us ship our grains in architecture!

&#183 A Strange Shortage Illustrates The Global Economy [NPR]
&#183 When Shipping Container Architecture Goes Bad… [Life Without Buildings]