Sometimes I run across a story I really want to tell, but life and blogging happen along the way and I never get around to it. One of the reasons what I do is so enjoyable is that I meet so many creative, interesting people. Sometimes (festival season, I’m looking at you) I have so many large events I’m covering, that smaller, quieter ones slip into my mountain of photographs and disappear. This is one of those stories.
I first ran across the Knox Pallet House project on the final day of Rhythm and Blooms. I’d heard a little about it, but a view of the actual structure was quite striking. I met Pratishtha Singh on the premises and talked to her for a few minutes, asking for help in understanding what I was looking at.
She explained that the local project was based on the work of a couple of architects in New York who’d done something similar with a view towards helping refugee populations in Europe. The thinking there was that as aid is delivered to refugee camps, the pallets on which the food is stacked could then be used to build temporary and mobile housing.
Prat and Bentley Marlow set out to show that the concept need not be limited to refugee encampments. Rather than destroy pallets which are used to ship all manner of goods and which, ultimately, wind up being destroyed and dumped into landfills, why not put them to a productive use? An obvious possibility would be to build temporary housing around a central set of toilet and shower facilities, thus providing shelter for the homeless population.
Of course, pallets could be used for many other structures including play houses, dog houses and more. It’s a win all the way around, with less in the landfill and a free, reused item becoming something helpful. While you can no longer see the house at the Botanical Garden, you might read more about the project here and here. You can read about the original refugee housing project here.
So, what do you think? Ingenious? Unrealistic? Let’s get started?