Posted: May 20, 2012 10:26 PM by Hope Hanselman, KSBY News
When a group of four Cal Poly architecture majors set out to fulfill their senior project, they wanted to find an easier way for businesses to start up.
Now, it's as easy as opening doors.
"We call it the original pop-up shop," said Derick Lee, one of the group members.
The students say millions of shipping containers are left over in surplus every year. Using one of these 20 foot containers as recycled material, it proved to be the perfect basis for their business model.
"If you want to start a business let's make it flexible, let's make it low-risk, let's make it affordable," Lee said.
Along the idea of food trucks and farmers' markets, these students were thinking "mobile." The idea being to move with demand.
These students created a model they call "double flexibility," meaning their food service kiosk not only packs up and moves easily, it also can transform for different purposes.
"The idea of the container can actually change from, say, a grocery market to a community kitchen," Lee said.
Two-thirds of the building is designed for preparing food. It's fully equipped with the ability to install an industrial kitchen.
The rest of the container is for enjoying the meal. They call this idea "the cube"- and this is where interchangeability comes into play.
"Maybe inside the cube it can be a dining room or, say, inside the cube it could be a theater," Lee said.
But as college students, there was no start-up capital for this project. It all started with a thesis. And as design students, they had to make sure this hunk of metal looked cool.
"On top of the business we care a lot about how this thing looks," said Matthew Yungert, another team member.
The container will be on display at Cal Poly on May 25 for the public to view. For more information, click here.
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