Come on in and make yourself comfortable in our fully furnished 33 square foot house. Did we mention it’s a dumpster? While the project could have been centered around a large cargo container or a tiny house, we decided on the dumpster. A dumpster is the perfect symbol to present themes on waste and consumption in an engaging way. It’s weird. It’s fun. It gets the wheels of imagination turning.
Over the course of the first year we transformed the dumpster from a rusty, dirty waste receptacle, to a bare camping box, to a rust-proofed box, until we made our first major interior change and added the false floor. We’ve been through a few design refreshed, wired up the dumpster with sensors that are streaming dumpster conditions. See them here. We changed the roof to help with the leaks, and after 6 months we connected to the grid and installed air conditioning.
Our design process is iterative. We are working on the next dumpster designs taking into account our lessons learned at each stage, and as we learn more from the on-going conversations over an every-expanding range of subjects like materials, design, technology, space, waste, energy, water, air, health…
We don’t know if we ever get to the one final ultimate dumpster. Maybe we hope not to. There is always something to learn and apply to the dumpster, and it’s an experiment. We want to keep changing the design and trying new things. The Dumpster probes and examines and highlights every aspect of home and the environment as a living laboratory.
Trash Talkers: Our Audience
The ongoing dumpster experiment is geared to capture the attention of a wide audience and ignite accessible (and entertaining) dialogue around the concept of living with less. It’s also just one of many platforms in a groundbreaking green campus initiative at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas. While the dumpster is based in the heart of East Austin it’s also intended to be a mobile house that will move around the state and country on educational tours. Let us know if you’d like the dumpster to make a stop at your school or community event. Our “casa” es su casa!
In the final analysis, the dumpster project is a grand experiment that asks: “What does it take to have a happy, healthy life?” Join us on the journey and support the project today.