Australian National Maritime Museum

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Location: Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney
Curator: Dr Mary-Elizabeth Andrews
Date/Period: 26/10/2017 – 04/07/2018
Photos: Emma Bjorndah, Andrew Frolows, Stuart Silcox

In today’s global world you may have drunk coffee from Brazil or a smoothie containing frozen fruit from China. You could be wearing clothes made in India, watching a TV made in Japan while sitting on a sofa containing wood from Argentina on a laminate floor manufactured in Sweden. All of this has been made possible by a rectangular steel box – the humble shipping container. You can literally ‘step inside the box’ to enjoy the first-ever outdoor exhibition of the ANMM as you explore six colourful containers scattered around the museum like giant Lego pieces. Each container covers one part of the six part exhibition.
Mention containers and the first thing most people want to talk about is container homes. With rising housing prices, it’s little wonder people are looking to cheaper, more sutainable building solutions.
But there’s something more to containers that captures the imagination. Perhaps it’s the simplicity of these giant building-blocks and their DIY quality, making even the least design-savy among us think, “I could do that too”. Or maybe it’s the appeal of downsizing and off-grid living, a growing movement prompted by the very consumer excess the container represents. As architects embrace the box, creating truly unique structures from this basic elements, the container is fast becoming a design icon.
Freitag Flagship Store
Swiss brand Freitag makes bags from recycled truck tarpaulins, so it is only fitting that it should turn to another recycled transport material for its Flagship Store in Zurich. Opened in 2006, the Freitag warehouse-shopfront is a nine-container-high structure, using traditional twist locks and lashing systems to secure the tower.