The MIT FEMA Trailer Project


“We will not ever use trailers again.”

-FEMA Director David Paulison at a press conference in New Orleans with Center for Disease Control Director Julie Gerberding, on Thursday, Feb 14, 2008.

I’m not even going to front – I’ve copied all the info on this project straight from it’s webpage. In my defense, there isn’t that much information on MIT’s ‘FEMA Trailer Project’ anyways – but when I heard mention of it this morning on NPR I couldn’t help but toss it up on AMNP. Hopefully there will be lots more on this class project in the future – for now, here’s what they’ve got over at MIT:

The MIT FEMA Trailer Project
Research as Artistic Practice: The FEMA Trailer Project: Course 4.303/4.365 (MIT Visual Arts Program)


The FEMA Trailer Project is a cross-disciplinary, community-engagement, hands-on, design-build, research-oriented project with two components: 1) The course “Understanding the Problem: Research as Artistic Practice” in the MIT Visual Arts Program, and 2) The MIT FEMA Trailer Challenge, produced in collaboration with the MIT Public Service Center. The FEMA Trailer Project brings together a diverse group of undergraduate and graduate students and departments across MIT to research historical, social, and design aspects of surplus FEMA Trailers and develop proposals for the eventual transformation of a surplus FEMA trailer into an alternative vehicle which critically addresses the frequency and complexity of emergencies and disasters in contemporary society. The FEMA Trailer Project will identify and work with a community partner to convert the trailer and donate the transformed trailer to a community. In collaboration with the MIT Public Service Center directed by Sally Susnowitz, the MIT FEMA Trailer Challenge will launch a competition open to the MIT community for solutions to various problems associated with FEMA Trailers–formaldehyde off-gassing, disaster surplus, psychosocial challenges, and the lack of adequate housing to replace FEMA Trailers. A surplus FEMA Trailer, donated by FEMA via the Federal Surplus and Law Enforcement Property Division, will be initially sited at 620 Putnam Avenue, former paint factory on the MIT Campus, and will serve as a temporary exhibition space as the interim Center for Art, Media, and Politics while it awaits transformation and donation.

FEMA Trailer Project Team:

– Jae Rhim Lee, SMVisS ’06, Visiting Lecturer, MIT Visual Arts Program, Dept of Architecture, School of Architecture and Planning
– Ute Meta Bauer, Assoc. Professor and Director, MIT Visual Arts Program, Dept of Architecture, School of Architecture and Planning
– Sally Susnowitz, Assistant Dean, Student Life, and Director, MIT Public Service Center
– Camilla Brinkman, Communicatins Coordinator, MIT Public Servie Center
– Allison Dee UG ’09, UROP, Management Sciences
– Maryann Chu UG ’08, UROP, Civil Engineering
– Jason Rockwood G’09, Graduate Student, Comparative Media Studies
– Tarick T. Walton, UG ’10, Program Assistant, Civil Engineering
– Priyanka Shah G’08, Teaching Assistant, DUSP/Architecture
– Jegan Vincent De Paul G’09, Teaching Assistant, Visual Arts Program

I’ll see what else I can dig up.

Posted: July 8th, 2008
at 11:55am by orangemenace

Categories: architecture,my ninja, please,pre-fab,green arch,student

Comments: 2 comments


2 Responses to 'The MIT FEMA Trailer Project'

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  1. that’s a gehry building in the background


    9 Jul 08 at 8:05 am


  2. we promise updates. jae rhim, the instructor of the FEMA trailer project works on timeline with some MIT students, that is almost done. best umb

    ute meta bauer

    11 Jul 08 at 12:20 pm



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