Pimp My FEMA Trailer

A few months after Ike, this tricked-out FEMA trailer rolls into Houston as . . . art?? Paul Villinski’s reworked 30-ft. Gulfstream “Cavalier” trailer, which took the artist 7 months to mod, will be parked outside the Rice University Art Gallery starting later this month.

Re-born as the Emergency Response Studio, the trailer’s formaldehyde-ridden original materials are replaced by entirely “green” technology and building materials, including recycled denim insulation, bamboo cabinetry, compact fluorescent lighting, reclaimed wood, and natural linoleum floor tiles made from linseed oil. It is powered by eight mammoth batteries that store energy generated by an array of solar panels and a “micro” wind turbine atop a 40-foot high mast. Not only practical, Emergency Response Studio is a visually engaging structure with an expansive work area featuring a wall section that lowers to become a deck. A ten-foot, elliptical geodesic skylight allows extra headroom and natural lighting in the work area. Though designed as an artist’s studio and residence, Emergency Response Studio is an ingenious prototype for self-sufficient, solar-powered mobile housing.

Party on the back deck!


The Emergency Response Studio heads here from . . . New Orleans, where Villinski assembled it. More of the lowdown in this video from the Times-Picayune‘s art critic, Doug MacCash:

Photos: Paul Villinski

2 Comment

  • That is very cool.

  • Nice.

    Having been in an a typical FEMA trailer, I can attest to that “formaldehyde-ridden” description of the interior. The off-gassing was so bad, it made my eyes water. I don’t see how people live in those things.