student cart coops
During the Fall Semester of 2010, 10 first-year Tulane University students with no prior agricultural or construction experience designed and built mobile chicken coops using salvaged shopping carts for our class on sustainable systems.
In the Fall of 2010, CrookedWorks guided a group of first-year Tulane University students as they designed and built four mobile chicken coops using salvaged shopping carts. Each of the carts was built for less than $50 and all were donated to local growers through the New Orleans Food and Farm Network, a local urban agriculture non-profit organization. The final designs ranged from a nest-like tangle of willow branches woven for shady perching to the quirky “Green Wave” with its arched top and hatches fashioned out of found license plates.
Over the course of two separate work days, the teams of two students learned the basic principles and requirements of chicken coop design, developed initial design schemes, mocked-up their designs on salvaged carts, and then built coops to be donated to a local urban agriculture non-profit organization. The Cart Coop_ design-build project presented newly-arrived students with a tangible, hands-on opportunity to engage with these issues of local food production and food security as well as wider issues of disaster preparedness and the materiality of consumer culture. In researching, designing, and building the coops the students were invited to explore, intellectual and physical, a new critical engagement with the city.