Two years ago we covered DesignBoom's Shelter in a Cart competition, noting that "While it may not be an answer to the problem of homelessness, it certainly raises questions and challenges our ideas. We also are intrigued by ideas for living with less and nobody does so like the homeless. Smart camping equipment manufacturers should look closely."
Now, with the price of metal and new deposit laws, the junk collecting industry has exploded and many homeless people are becoming positively entrepreneurial. Barry Sheehan and Gregor Timlin didn't win the competition with their version of the shelter cart, but built a working model of it. Looking back on the competition in the light of economic changes, it appears that both the competition organizers and the designers who entered were ahead of their time but seriously prescient.
The designer says on his website: "I designed the Shelter Cart in coordination with Barry Sheehan of Sharc Design for the designboom social awareness award 2006.
The aim of the project was to design a tool for a particular group of homeless people who collect bottles from the streets so they can collect a small income from the recycling plants in order to sustain themselves.
The project was not seen a solution to the social problem of the homeless but instead as an method of raising awareness about the issue." ::Gregor Timlin
I personally still think that one should not have to empty the cart before you can sleep in it, which is why I liked Radu Comsa's design, where the bins kicked out to create a tent-like enclosure. His design also permitted separation of materials. But Gregor's and Barry's is pretty handsome and a lot more effective than a stolen shopping cart. ::Designboom
More from TreeHugger on Peak Metal and recycling
Shelter in a Cart Competition
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Peak Metal on Planet Green
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