Step Inside A Shipping Container Portal
Our wired world has allowed us to be instantly connected to anybody at any time…anywhere. From Skype to iMessage, the ability to instantly connect is an amazing part of the ongoing tech revolution. Next, we invite you to step inside a shipping container portal and prepare yourself to be transported around the world.
Created by Shared Studios in Washington, DC, Portals are gold shipping containers with immersive audio and video technology inside. When you enter one, you come face-to-face with someone in the other container, full-body, and the two of you converse live as if in the same room.
Founded in 2014 by Amar Bakshi, Shared Studios is “a design and arts collective dedicated to creating worm-holes throughout the world.”
Shared Studios has connected more than three thousand people in Herat, Afghanistan; Tehran, Iran; Havana, Cuba; New York, New Haven and Washington D.C.. Since the launch, the participants have carried on private, immersive 20-minute conversations with strangers from the other country responding to the same prompt: “What would make today a good day for you?”
The experience goes like this: visitors enter Portals one-at-a-time and carry on a private conversation with a person in the other location. From there, conversations can take any route, from the hopes for their children to eating patters, local climate, dating, etc. Reactions upon exiting the portals were strong; participants were ecstatic, weepy and every emotion in between. Translators at one side or the other are available to assist as needed. All interactions in the Portal are private and not recorded unless both sides consent. After leaving the Portal, participants wrote about their experiences in a gold book. Hundreds of moving descriptions are available on their website. Recorded sessions can be broadcast live and/or posted online. The Portal can be used for off-hours reservations for longer stretches of time, enabling artists, students, or academics to converse or collaborate.
To create each Portal (and you can find detailed instructions on their web site), Bakshi takes a single used 20′ shipping container and insulates it, installs carpeting and drywall, then creates the transporting hardware, including, computers, cameras, monitors, and then, of course the electrical and internet before finally giving each portal its distinctive coat of gold paint.
Their plan is to create a single Portal each 6 months and have them in universities, art galleries, hospitals, parks, etc. — anyplace where people congregate and information is shared. Their initial funding came from a successful Kickstarter campaign (where they raised over their goal of $60,000), and are open to different types of funding as well, such as donations of time and physical labor. In addition, you can contribute through Fractured Atlas, a crowd-funding site focusing on creative, artistic projects.
Imagine the origins of a shipping container; built in a Chinese factory and loaded onto massive ships full of cargo for multiple round-the-world trips. And then finally they’re transformed into these incredible Portals that whisk participants back around the world again. Absolutely amazing!
And speaking of recycling and repurposing used shipping containers, has this article motivated you to build your own shipping portal? Sourcing from sellers worldwide just got a whole lot easier. Whether you’re in Washington DC or Wisconsin, the Shipped.com Marketplace connects buyers and sellers from all over the world, enabling you to get the lowest price possible along with the fastest delivery time. You can sign up in seconds and within minutes sellers worldwide will be sending you their very best offers on exactly what you’re looking for. You’ll have your choice of the highest quality shipping containers at the lowest possible prices. Visit the Shipped.com Marketplace and submit your container request now.
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Thanks to The Huffington Post and to Amir Bakshi and Shared Studios for the great photos.
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