DeMaria has been a leader and maverick in this design movement and unlike the numerous designers who’ve tinkered with the standard ISO Shipping Container as a design possibility, DeMaria solved the structural, legal and code compliant puzzle when he created the first two story cargo container in the US – the Redondo Beach House. Since then, he’s gone on to design numerous award winning cargo container based structures and his is work continues to be a positive impact on the sustatinability movement.
Containers tell the world how well or how poorly the global economy is doing. Empty container ships indicate a downturn; fully loaded container ships—or orders for new, even bigger ships—are euphoriant symbols of better times. The container itself has been the globally standardized transportation module since 1956. Thirty million of them can be found on the seas and oceans of the world. Now the container is also a source of fascination for many architects. The NRW-Forum Düsseldorf invited renowned architects, designers, and artists from around the world to submit designs for container architecture. Submissions included not only existing container buildings, but also new designs that were created specially for the exhibition: original, practicable, fictitious, sensible, fantastic, minimalist, exotic, pragmatic, and futuristic.
'Containers are a symbol of the way we live and dwell in our globalized, mobile, nomadic age,' says exhibition organizer Werner Lippert when asked to explain what gave him the idea for the exhibition. He also quotes ethnologist Hartmut Böhme, who described the container as a 'fetish of the modern age' that stands for cataclysm, mobility, and change. The exhibition highlights the container as the pictogram for a new, urban way of life and/or simultaneously as an object of modern architecture. Containers are now being used to create entire student residences, prize-winning homes, and cruise terminals. They are perched as penthouses on New York rooftops or as parasitic architectural works on the roofscape of San Francisco. They are stacked on top of each other to create residential buildings in London or high-rise apartment blocks in Melbourne.
Standardized, robust, stackable, and available all over the world, inexpensive, easy to erect and dismantle, cheap and sustainable—
Container Architecture: 8 June to 4 September 2011 NRW-Forum Düsseldorf
Ehrenhof 2, 40479 Düsseldorf, Germany
Contact: Petra Wenzel, Werner Lippert, Dusseldorf, Germany
Tel.: +49 (0)211 9660036, firstname.lastname@example.org
Donna Jaskola, DeMaria Design Assoc.
Tel.: 310 802-1270, donna@