…SEED is an emergent housing investment that appreciates locally over time!

Utilizing an existing surplus of shipping containers and working with industry partners including Container -it, Intermodal Steel Building Units Association, Sargent Metals, and Tri-County Technical, Clemson University designers from the Department of Architecture and the Department of Landscape Architecture are researching and developing an affordable housing solution for the Caribbean Region.  Caribbean nations inherently import more goods than they export generating a steady surplus of shipping containers.  Shipping containers are designed to carry massive amounts of cargo and withstand extreme weather conditions making them a logical housing component.  Completely constructed of steel and reinforced with eight corner post moment connections and corrugated steel walls a 40′ shipping container can carry 67,200 pounds and resist overturn when exposed to winds up to 140 mph.  Without modification a 40′ shipping container has 304 square feet of floor space and eliminates problems associated with insects, fire, and hurricanes.  With modification a 40′ shipping container can be a safe, comfortable, and environmentally friendly home for numerous local inhabitants who would otherwise have less.

Designing a process and not an outcome the team has decidedly chosen the seed and its symbiotic-propagation as an analog.  Thinking time based and considering logistics the beginning design has emerged as a system of event based solutions capable of providing immediate housing after hurricanes or natural disasters.  local intervention and materials eventually developing into permanent and investment with a local identity.  Utilizing local skills, labor, and materials the final design is dynamic taking on a symbiotic relationship with the local cultures.  Eventually the ubiquitous container is embedded and made permanent providing an investment that can appreciate with time. Plant some SEEDs!

view SEED Haiti video



2010    honorable mention: People, Prosperity and Planet Award (p3) – Environmental Protection Agency – Recognition of Excellence at National Design Expo

2010    exhibited at Parallel Cases Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris France in Parallel Cases Exhibit.

2010    exhibited at the Sixth Annual National Sustainable Design Expo – National Mall, Washington D.C. as part of Earth Day and to compete for EPA’s People, Prosperity and the Planet Award

2010     featured in WorldChanging,  Metro World NewsWORD OF MOUTH (New Hampshire Radio) Arch Daily, Fast Company, Tree Hugger, Science NewsWYFF-Channel 4 NBC online, WHNS-TV Fox Carolina, Inhabitat 

2009    exhibited at the International Biennale of Architecture – Rotterdam, Netherlands

2009    completion of SEED prototype

2009    presented at Open City: Designing Coexistence. Catalogue Architecture Biennale Rotterdam / Amsterdam, NL: Sun Architecture 2009.

2009     featured in WorldChanging, and Arch Daily

















Collaborators: Doug Hecker, Associate Professor Architecture, Clemson University, Paul Phelps, Try-County Tech Department of Welding Coordinator, Pernille Christensen, PhD Student in Planning, Design and the Built Environment, Richard H. Pennell Center for Real Estate Development Planning, Design and the Built Environment, Clemson University.

Architecture students: Adam Berry, Shannon Calloway, Nick Christopher, Maria Davis, Kristen Leanca, Kyle Miller, Sarah Moore, Mitch Newbold, Carson Nolan, Ayaka Tanabe, Dustin White

Welding students: Mitch Thompson, John-Michael Quales, Sam Groen, Matt Wash, Kyle Scroggs, Travis Jenkins, Brantley Fowler, Alex Boom, Robert Falkner, Nat Swart, Bryant Houston, Jonathan Mclees, Andrew Prothro, Sam Nicholson, Robert Tedford, Bryce Hall, Thomas Padgett, Zach Alexander, Josh Hale, Chris Bagwell

Landscape Architecture students: Arthur Johnson, Jennifer Johnson, Hanna Jonathan, Eric Hardaway, Kenneth Koschnitzki, Owen McLaughlin, Nathan Miller, Scott Ogletree, John Plascik, Aaron Taylor, Ryan Yonce

Partners: Clemson University School of Architecture, Clemson University Department of Landscape Architecture, Container-It, Intermodal Steel Buidling Units Association, Sargent Metals, Tri-County Technical College Department of Welding, Wonderworld TV