Peter DeMaria


Thursday, April 11th, 7:00 – 9:30pm

Pandora’s Box
Container Architecture on the Front

In The Duncan Anderson Design Department Gallery at California State University, Long Beach

DeMaria’s container based work is seen “mainly as an ‘experiment’ at this time”, said Bill Gati, a member of the American Institute of Architects Custom Residential Design Committee. “It’s cutting-edge, and Architects who design with containers are considered mavericks and trail blazers.”

DeMaria dedicated five years to taking the messengers of consumerism (shipping containers) and converting them into role models for an environmental and economical housing solution.”He compares his creations to Andy Warhol’s prints, McDonald’s hamburgers, and the textile block houses of Frank Lloyd Wright. “We are reinterpreting and re-presenting the best of these processes in a different medium… a new process by which future construction projects will be delivered”.

His work follows no distinct style but fuses prefabrication, principles that were professed by Buckminster Fuller and an experimental attitude regarding materials and systems. Like Fuller, he visualizes architecture fulfilling a critical force on the planet, “I’ve come to reject the limitations of sustainability. Sustainability isn’t enough. Our buildings must be more than simply contributors to a more environmentally conscious society—they must become functioning icons that spearhead new advances.”

DeMaria designed the Redondo Beach House, the first two story shipping container home in the U.S. With an approved structural system under the strict guidelines of the nationally recognized Uniform Building Code, the Redondo Beach House is composed of eight recycled ISO Cargo Containers. DeMaria’s design received the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honor in Excellence Award for Innovation in 2007. ” It is a hybrid home that has received awards, has been published internationally and is recognized as the first two story cargo container based project in the United States that legally complies with the Uniform Building Code.

The Redondo Beach House departs from the historical and traditional sense of what constitutes “architecture” and DeMaria professes that, “…this project is the torch bearer for a new, more affordable method of design and construction — Architecture as a Product”. The AIA has lauded his work, but his ideas have faced opposition from the professional and academic world of architecture – his blending of product, industrial and architectural design into a new hybrid, challenges the norm by which architecture is practiced. (Source: Wikipedia)

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