The Modern Palette mobile studio is designed for inspirational purposes
Please introduce yourself and tell us what you do!
My name is Clemente Rico. (I'm in my) 4th year in the Landscape Architecture Program at ASU. (The name of my build team and the microdwelling is Modern Palette).
Modern Palette design team
What got you started/interested in architecture/construction/building/design?
Throughout all my years of education, I have learned that I am a kinesthetic learner. I learn best when I use my hands. I discovered design and architecture when I started working in construction at the age of 15. Fortunately, I was able to find a discipline that combined my style of learning and my passion of design.
How long have you been interested in microdwellings?
I didn't know what microdwell(ing) was until my second year in college. The part that attracted me the most about microdwellings was not just the small spaces, but the functionality and efficiency within the space.
How did Modern Palette come together?
When I heard about Microdwelling 2014 and the movement is trying to make in Phoenix, I totally wanted be part of it. I started looking for fellow students who had the same interest of microdwellings, but also a complete different background. I wanted a diverse team that could bring different ideas to the project. Today, the team of Modern Palette is composed of various disciplines ranging from Landscape Architecture, Interior Design, Graphic Design, and Architecture.
What is your inspiration for the microdwelling you're building this year, and how did you get started designing and constructing it?
The inspiration for the project was not based on the materiality, but rather in the experience of the user. The whole idea is a mobile studio for inspirational purposes. We have two main goals for this project. The first goal is to design a space that can change the experience by changing the location. The second goal was to develop the experience and space by using salvaged materials.
What are the advantages of a mobile microdwelling? What challenges does building a mobile microdwelling pose for your team?
One of the beautiful advantages of a mobile microdwelling is that you can take it almost anywhere. The space and structure become dynamic, instead of a typical static piece of architecture we see all over the place. However, there are some unique challenges when the structure is mobile. The most challenging obstacle is the efficiency of space. We had to critically examine which were the components that are the most important to have at all times, for instance a bed, chair, etc.
Tell us about the sustainable/salvaged materials and techniques the team is using. I see from your
presentation that you'll be using blue jean insulation and re-purposed charred wood for the exterior.
As I previously stated, one of the team's main goals was to use salvaged materials. Of course, the idea was to develop a project that was sustainable and green for the environment. However, we wanted more than that. We wanted to use materials that could be multi-functional. Thanks to V & P nursery for all the wood and DIRRT for the insulation, we were able to apply normal materials our project such as pallet boards and denim to create a new and unique project.
How does the attached screen work? What is it made from?
Work in progress
What's the plan for after MIcrodwelling 2014? Any plans to offer your microdwelling for sale? Does Modern Palette have any other projects or microdwellings planned?
Most of the team members will graduate from the design school this year. Currently, we don't have any idea where we're going, but I hope to cooperate with them in future projects. We do have plans to sale (sic) our project. If the team stays together, I think there will be more microdwellings.
What is the most important lesson/anecdote/challenge you have at this point in the process?
The most important challenge the team has faced is working with the salvaged
wood boards. The team had to come up with a different use compared to its original. Simultaneously, the team has learned the behavior of wood and also some tricks.
What is the biggest misconception about the microdwelling scene/movement/trend?
I don't think there is a misconception with microdwelling. I think we all see microdwelling as a fun and functional idea, but the problem is our cultural philosophy. Most of us think that bigger houses are better house(s). Once, we move away from that misconception the movement of microdwelling will grow exponentially.
What do you enjoy most about making microdwellings in the Phoenix metropolitan area? What is
your favorite part of being a member of the Microdwelling community?
What I enjoy the most about Phoenix is that it has the potential to grow to something unique and I think the movement of microdwellings can help Phoenix become a leading city. The part that I enjoy the most about being part of this community is the opportunity to transform the city and people. My hope is to convince the public to move away from the idea of "more is more," to "less is more."