Is This the World's Coolest Forgotten Camper?

Jul 10, 2012
Outside
Outside Magazine

Screen Shot 2012-07-10 at 12.19.04 PMAlberto Rosselli's Expandable Living Container. Photo: SHFT on Facebook

In May of 1972, MOMA put on a five-month show highlighting some of the world's best new mobile environments. It was called "ITALY: THE NEW DOMESTIC LANDSCAPE" and featured a dozen transportable homes for modern living. One of these 12 designs popped up again on Monday when Adrian Grenier and Peter Glatzer's SHFT website posted a picture of it on their Facebook page. It's a lightweight aluminum house by the Italian designer Alberto Rosselli. The house extends out in four directions via telescoping runners, hinged floors, and accordion walls. It has resurfaced in art exhibitions over the years, most famously in a traveling exhibition about mobility called Living in Motion that stopped in Boston in 2006. Still, it's a wonder that a camper close to Roselli's "Expandable Living Container" hasn't been turned out for Americans seeking to move around the country, especially when you see the inside.

Screen Shot 2012-07-10 at 12.20.10 PMExpandable Living Container. Photo: SHFT on Facebook

The unit transforms from a 7x14-foot trailer into a 20x29-foot living space fit for five to six people. The creation includes a bathroom, a kitchen, a closet, a terrace, and space for beds. The original design was built to be included on the back of an open truck bed and then moved onto a platform.

Here's how a MOMA 1972 press release presented Roselli's new design:

Rosselli sees the problem of the conventional mobile home in terms of the conflicting requirements of movement and repose, with movement demanding a small, compact form and repose the maximum expansion of potential space.

"The strictly habitable parts of vehicles designed for the road, therefore, often turn out as a miniature form of a real dwelling, with all living functions reduced to the very meager scale demanded by the road," Rosselli says. "But surely we can overcome the limitations of the mobile house by giving it a new form of expression, discovering in it the concept of the mobility of interior space, and of its transformation and connection with other spaces. Contemporary technology permits us to extend mobility and expansion through the use of lightweight materials and more highly developed mechanisms for various types of land or air transport."

What do you think? Does Roselli's design deserve a reincarnation with some wheels?

H/T: Amber Terranova

—Joe Spring
@joespring
facebook.com/joespring.1

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