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The Art of Kevin Cyr
December 27, 2013 11:40 PM   Subscribe

Camper Kart: A pop-up camper constructed out of a shopping cart.

The artist, Kevin Cyr, successfully kickstarted the project in 2009.

Other projects include Home in the Weeds, a piece which

"examines the idea of shelter as a safe haven for a future worst-case scenario as well as more optimistic notions of home and self-preservation."

a theme also present in his 2008 piece: Camper Bike
posted by sarastro (18 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
So, how does that not roll away, tip over and end up as some sort of Jackass stunt?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:52 PM on December 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


I had almost exactly the same idea last year.
Except mine was a bar.
posted by sexyrobot at 11:52 PM on December 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Is it weird that I think it actually looks kind of comfy?
posted by Doleful Creature at 12:07 AM on December 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Admiral Painter: "This tiny living spaces business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it."

Seriously, I love this stuff. And while I know this is an art exhibition, I am really into the whole tiny living space thing. When I get ready to move in a couple of years, I am definitely going to consider that route.
posted by lampshade at 12:13 AM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is that actually usable? Shopping carts aren't the world's most stable contraptions, and I wouldn't think it'd take very much to tip it over - if you curled up slightly off-center, say.
posted by Xany at 12:18 AM on December 28, 2013


Is that actually usable? Shopping carts aren't the world's most stable contraptions, and I wouldn't think it'd take very much to tip it over - if you curled up slightly off-center, say.

No way, the Camper Cart isn't useable. Look at how he's had to weigh down the bottom of the cart with coolers just to keep it from falling over even without anybody inside. There's no way to crawl in on your own without it tipping over, and god forbid there's a brisk wind -- you'd break your legs stuck in that thing with it sliding all over a parking lot and clattering to the ground.

Anyway, these are cute, and I can't wait for him to get serious with somebody and start building these kind of shanties to house couples. Where's the bicycle-camper-built-for-two?
posted by rue72 at 12:51 AM on December 28, 2013


Reminds me of Krzystof Wodiczko's Homeless Vehicle Project, a critical/satirical project based around providing housing for the homeless, attempting to highlight the unacceptable fact that people are forced to live on the streets.
posted by suedehead at 2:26 AM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


all it needs now is a good sam club sticker
posted by pyramid termite at 4:19 AM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Before clicking the link, I hadn't anticipated these would be as kitschy as they were. I was struck by how carefully he's copying the aesthetic of 70s-80s pickup campers and trailer campers (woodgrain, Colman lantern, etc).
posted by werkzeuger at 5:17 AM on December 28, 2013


I like his nudie knife. He is true to the retro form.
posted by surplus at 5:45 AM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


This reminds me of the amazing "Hermitage" that was at the PMA a couple of years ago.
posted by selfnoise at 6:01 AM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Designboom ran a contest called "Shelter in a Cart" that resulted in some innovative ideas.
posted by cedar key at 6:04 AM on December 28, 2013


No, I don't think it's intended to be usable, it's a play on the pervasive TV/movie trope where a filmmaker uses the prevalence of shopping carts on the set to portray "the dystopian future".

Also real homeless use them, and the message of course is these days it seems likely at some point we'll say "we're all homeless now".
posted by sourwookie at 7:36 AM on December 28, 2013


On a practical level, shopping carts are expensive, and this is far too wobbly to be usable.

People keep recirculating a facebook post about how many unoccupied houses there are, as if that's a solution. Home doesn't just mean a structure. It means a place to put the structure, with water, sanitation, heat, and some way to keep order. Plus some sense of community. Nobody wants the homeless around, in a shopping cart rig, a tent, a cardboard box, whatever. Real solutions for homeless people who are mentally healthy involve jobs and decent wages. Real solutions for the mentally ill and addicted homeless, who make up a large percentage of the chronically homeless, involve individual treatment.

I kind of find this annoying - it seems to offer a simple fix to a problem that is really complex. An alternate program that I love is the Rural Studio, which builds houses for the rural poor.
posted by theora55 at 8:28 AM on December 28, 2013


it should be pointed out that VW first made tiny-living-sleeping-in-your-car cool way back in 1951
posted by RockyChrysler at 9:03 AM on December 28, 2013


I kind of find this annoying - it seems to offer a simple fix to a problem that is really complex.

I would hope to Baal that this would be a satirical comment on homelessness rather than an attempt to offer a (useless and demeaning) solution to a horrific situation.


However because we laugh in order not to weep:

...I wouldn't think it'd take very much to tip it over...

Pontoons!
posted by BlueHorse at 10:10 AM on December 28, 2013


It's a joke, see. When the cops take razor blades to your tents and sleeping bags, that's business as usual. When a cop (or maybe a showboating mayor) trashes this thing, it's prop comedy.
posted by idiopath at 11:04 AM on December 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I kind of find this annoying - it seems to offer a simple fix to a problem that is really complex.

I think it's important to remember that small-scale solutions can be useful even when they're not holistic systems-scale changes..."solving" the deeper issues that cause homelessness is obviously incredibly complex. More complex solutions are also hard to implement (Rural Studio's great, but has also been working on their design for 20 years without actually getting the house out on the larger market yet). If a tent or other temporary structure can help someone stay a little more comfortable until bigger solutions are found for poverty, drug addiction, etc., I'm all for it...not saying this particular design is the right solution, but I think sometimes people discount simpler incremental solutions when they do have a place.
posted by three_red_balloons at 2:50 PM on December 28, 2013


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