Know Sean Starowitz through the energies, intelligences, and challenges of his work: Compost Post, Co-Workers, Bosses & Supervisors: A Design Show, Office Works, Plywood Palaces, S’mores vending cart, Trade Show, and notably, his SPEAK! project as conducted at the BFA opening at the Kansas City Art Institute and on the streets of Chicago.
In 2007, Luyanda Mpahlwa of MMA Architects was one of ten architects challenged by Design Indaba to build experimental homes on the government subsidy budget of $6,900 in Freedom Park, a shantytown on the outskirts of Cape Town.
Mphahlwa replaced traditional brick and mortar foundations with a less costly two-story structural frame made from timber combined with sandbag construction as fill for the walls. In addition to its thermal and sound-absorbing properties, the sandbag construction also requires little to no electricity or skilled labor to erect. Building of the house turned into a community project, with local women pitching in. For more, go to the Curry Stone Design Prize website.
Paul Stankey, of Hive Modular, built for himself the smartest of buildings: inexpensive containers were available locally ($800 apiece), could be moved simply (w/ his pick-up truck and trailer), fell within the tool and skill set of the builders (welders), were kept essentially intact, and are powered efficiently with Stankey’s truck battery when in-residence.
Alan Frakes’ oil paintings, often done with the en plein air and alla prima methods, capture the sites where dumpsters sit in and around Tulsa, Oklahoma. His recently completely twenty-painting “Dumpster Series,” as exhibited at the Living Arts of Tulsa gallery in July 2007, shows the ever-present placeless environments of every city, as he challenges the convention of what constitutes a landscape worthy of our consideration.
According to the artist, “dumpsters exist in everyday regular environments, alongside each of us. I find beauty and potential existing within this subject, typically understood to be leftover, ugly, or rubbish–sometimes relegated to the back lot, out of the way, sometimes right under our noses in plain site, always, like dutiful soldiers, continually collecting more and more waste. We take them for granted, but they are always there as a part of our landscape. The Dumpster as subject was ‘discovered’ by looking for simple colorist subject matter as a challenge for an unattractive setting and then portraying it to illustrate the beauty within that subject, through light and shadow.”
Also see “The Dumpster Series“
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