Guided by professor and Walzworkinc founder Kevin Walz, Pratt Institute interior-design undergrads reinvent shipping containers as socially minded residential communities.

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Designer: Yenna Choi

Focus: Emergency housing

“Architectural tensiles of acrylic- and PVC-coated polyester attached with clamp plates to the containers expand to quickly accommodate people displaced by disaster, while the material’s trans­lucency allows the structures to glow, signaling life and refuge.”

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Designer: Xinxiao Hui

Focus: Foster-care support

“With a roof garden, library, and play areas, the stacked containers yield a dynamic, playful, and pride-worthy residence for up to 12 foster-care children, ranging from newborns to 18-year-olds, and is a lively presence in any community.”



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Designer: Xin Yan

Focus: Efficient, affordable luxury

“Factory fabrication plus unique but repeated details create housing ideal for young families—and suitable to any climate or community—that maximizes land use and rooftop living and features open, fluid plans and the strategic place­ment of windows.”

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Designer: Hanxin Chen

Focus: Sustainable, cost-effective construction

“This adaptation of the shipping con­tainer enhances financial efficiency and integrates a minimalist design language, utilizing a distinct geometric form and a limited materials palette to create a dynamic living experience in nature.”

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Designer: Yifei Xie

Focus: Veteran housing

“Spaces allocated for communal dining, physical therapy, counseling, medi­tation, and visiting family, plus an outdoor gym and access to nature create an intimate, supportive com­munity for veterans to heal from PTSD and other psychological wounds.”

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Designer: Evan Hryshko

Focus: Off-grid living

“The customizable homes utilize self-sufficient technologies—rainwater collection, recycled and locally sourced materials, family-size greenhouses, passive cooling and heating systems—to reduce reliance on external infra­structure.”

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Designer: Yasmeen Abdal

Focus: Syrian refugee housing

“Modular extensions that mimic the fabric of Arab communities and accommodate extended families cultivate self-adjusting neighborhoods, with facilities including learning and laundry centers as well as a co-op, for producing and selling items.”

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Designer: Emily Canavan

Focus: Child homelessness

“Providing homeless families with long-term apartments featuring high-quality yet affordable materials, like cork tile and pre-fab stainless-steel kitchen and pine storage units, the residences advocate that access to beautiful design should not be limited by wealth.”