Armadillo Field Trips Booking Now!
Visit the Nation’s ONLY Mobile (and Sustainable) Urban Arts Center
Born from the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, The Armadillo is an actual FEMA trailer that Boston’s MIT transformed into a vertical, sustainable, and mobile community garden. A companion to Side Street Projects’ renowned Woodworking Buses, The Armadillo is the newest addition to our fleet of mobile art education classrooms for kids in in Pasadena and throughout LA County.
Encourage your students to explore the relationship between art & sustainability at the nation’s only off-the-grid, mobile community arts center. On-site Armadillo field trips include a tour of Side Street’s sustainable “off-the-grid” mobile headquarters in Pasadena, plus a 90-min hands-on workshop. Students will build their own vertical planters from recycled materials, inspired by The Armadillo’s ingenious gardening system.
Field trips booking now! All ages welcome. $10/student (20 student minimum). For more info, contact Side Street Projects @ (626) 798-7774, or firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Armadillo
The Armadillo is a modified “green” FEMA Trailer that was originally one of the thousands of surplus travel trailers deployed in the Gulf Coast as temporary housing in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Armadillo is the result of the year-long collaborative art project—the MIT FEMA Trailer Project—in which faculty and students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Visual Arts Program transformed a surplus FEMA trailer into a “green” mobile composting center with vertical gardens, rainwater catchment system, permaculture library, and indoor multipurpose space. The trailer was dubbed The Armadillo for its ribbed retractable shell.
MIT students studied these issues and researched the environmental, political, and social history of the trailers under the direction of Jae Rhim Lee, an artist, permaculture designer and former consultant to the City of New Orleans Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Development. Students were then challenged to apply permaculture (a whole systems sustainable design approach) and environmental justice principles to the redesign and transformation of a single FEMA trailer into a model of urban sustainability and community change.
Jae Rhim and her students awarded The Armadillo to Side Street Projects after a nationwide search. In Summer 2009, Side Street Projects embarked on a 6,500 mile cross country tour to retrieve The Armadillo from MIT’s Boston campus. Side Street toured this unique mobile garden throughout the US.
Side Street Projects would like to thank the MIT FEMA Trailer Project Team for their talent, generosity, hard work, and vision.
- Project Directors -
Jae Rhim Lee
Visiting Lecturer, MIT Visual Arts Program
Dept of Architecture, School of Architecture and Planning
Assistant Dean, Student Life
Director, MIT Public Service Center
- Project Advisors -
Ute Meta Bauer
Assoc. Professor and Director
MIT Visual Arts Program, Dept of Architecture
School of Architecture and Planning
Lars Hasselblad Torres
MIT IDEAS Competition
MIT Public Service Center
- Team Members -
Tarick T. Walton
- Alumni -
Jegan Vincent De Paul
The Armadillo & The 2009 Armadillo US Tour was made possible by MIT Visual Arts Program, MIT School of Architecture + Planning, The MIT Council of the Arts, MIT Public Service Center, The Pasadena Community Foundation, Kids Are Sweet International, Whole Foods Market Arroyo, SunGro Horticulture, Dr. Stephen A. Kanter, and Bari Ziperstein. Special thanks to Jae Rhim Lee, Ari Klezky, Flip Video, Roland & Mary Lapointe, Jody & Louise Hopkins, Towson University, Noelle Zeltzman, Ray Gauthier, Dave Garrett, Tucker Marlof, Jarrod Fowler, Ashley Gibbons, and Lesley Byrne.