Sustainability by Design: A School Bus Conversion
My awesome project is to convert a school bus into a transportable living space to convey themes of sustainability and living a creative lifestyle. I’ll be using it to volunteer on farms and for non-profits both in Ann Arbor and across the United States. The bus will have a formal audience at a curated exhibition in April; there will also be an informal audience on the road. The sheer size of the bus alone will allow it to play a relatively humble, self-promotional role. Instead of making work about sustainability and a creative lifestyle, my work aims to embody these themes while serving a utility.
Phase #1 is purchasing a used school bus. Phase #2 is gutting and insulating the bus. Phase #3 is designing and planning the interior construction of bus. It will contain custom built furnishings. The exterior will have a space for an outdoor shower head and curtain, and a platform on the roof. I also plan to incorporate patterns of translucent vinyl on the windows of the bus, for aesthetic and privacy. Phase #4 is the building process. I will be sourcing as much material as possible from recycle and reuse centers, scrap material, and free material.
My process is as important as the end product; I’m expecting to learn the most from the hands-on, design/build process, but the converted bus will be the fruit of the labor, and what others will ultimately view and experience at the exhibition in April, and on the road. I will gain a greater understanding of large-scale designing and building and develop a more sustainable and responsible creative process. Others will see, by example, what it means to reuse material, and what it means to live a creative, sustainable lifestyle. Just as I will assess and use the material resources around me, I will also assess and use the people around me. Using what’s around will be a prevailing theme in my project.
Funded by Ann Arbor, MI (November 2017)