Post-Travel RVs: Used Airstream Trailers as Art Campers


Mobility may be the defining buzzword of the past century, but what will become of all of those gas-guzzling, suburb-fueling portable homes of the future past? These two converted Airstream trailers (now art and writing studios respectively) are at the heart of that question in many ways – iconic symbols of a mobile society, RVs now recycled from aerodynamic campers into niche spaces.

The first is still semi-mobile, but definitely local: the so-called “Tin Can Studio is a mobile project space housed in a converted 18ft Streamline trailer. Our goal is for the project to become a platform for collaboration and public engagement; a place where people can come together to build, make, show and share ideas with the intention of building community through the act of collaborative production, as well as through the creation of a physical space for gathering and dialogue.” Portable? Yes. Still, it is a different version of mobility than the private luxury purpose for which the freedom-for-sale Airstream was original designed.

The second is entirely static: a backyard art studio that shows the reuse potential of something designed as a vehicle but re-purposed as a stationary space.

The before-and-after photos show just how this vintage classic became more than a icon of retro-futurism – a gutted, modified and ultimately transformed space that is neither entirely old or new.

New wiring, insulation, lighting, surfaces and furniture inform both of these semi-DIY projects – neither really reflects the original form (except on the mirrored-glass exterior) but both manage to somehow tap into the classic appeal of the Airstream aesthetic, all without the hyper-mobility that was the original focus of the streamlined design.

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