A 1959 Airstream Transformed Into a Mobile Design Studio

The Green Report

"A lot of the best design is generated when you have significant constraints."

Andreas Stavropoulous, a landscape architect in Berkeley, California, remodeled a vintage Airstream trailer, turning it into an ultra-modern, traveling studio. In a 2009 article for Dwell, he describes the process:

The renovation was necessarily an exercise in restraint and creativity. With just 150 square feet to work with, I jettisoned the 1950s colors of flesh tone paint and wall-to-wall linoleum, and moved in with cork flooring, track lighting, fresh colorful paint, and custom designed cabinets and furniture to fit the sinuous interior topography. I revealed the beautiful workmanship of the riveted aluminum end caps, and removed sewage facilities completely. I performed the work myself, trying to keep the design in my head one step ahead of the building process of my hands. 

We often don't think of mobility as a relevant attribute of a living space or studio, but for a landscape architect, it opens up a whole new relationship with the environment:

My obsession with mobility, modularity, and affordability began long before the Airstream and has since extended beyond. As a recently self employed (read: laid off) landscape architect, I have been able to address several of the problems that I see in my field.  Namely, the lack of connection between the LAND and the ARCHITECT. Whereas landscape architects once spent significant time ±on the site, the profession now finds some of the most creative minds shoehorned into cubicles. This seemed like a loss to me, and I wondered how it might be possible to create a space for real understanding within the profession—the kind of understanding that occurs from seeing a day of shadows move across a place, or listening to and observing people in a space. 

For more videos by the Werehaus, visit http://werehaus.tv/.

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

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