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First Container: Collision Works Story Box

Help kickstart a community-driven shipping container center in Detroit's Eastern Market

by James Thorne in Culture on 03 April 2013

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We've seen several creative applications for shipping containers in the past, and the fact remains that these steel structures are unparalleled in terms of durability and availability for a recycled building material. Friend of CH Shel Kimen has been hard at work in an effort to open Collision Works, a 36-room boutique hotel and creative space that will be located in Detroit's Eastern Market. The structure will be made entirely from repurposed containers that have been redesigned for the hotel.

Collision Works is still a year out from completion; in the meantime Kimen has launched a Kickstarter campaign for First Container, a sort of trial run that will install two containers for a community center on 18 May 2013.

Set to open for Flower Day, when some 200,000 visitors flock to Eastern Market, First Container is imagined as a lounge space complete with couches and Internet access. More than that, it's an opportunity to share stories and foster the local business community, which has been coming back to life in recent years. Working with KOOP AM Kimen was able to develop plans for both First Container and the Collision Works project.

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Programming for First Container will include "lunch and learn" events for market workers to share experiences as well as an oral history project that documents the Eastern Market through the words of residents and workers. At the end of its six-month installation, First Container will be moved three blocks to the lot housing the future hotel. There it will sit until it is incorporated as the first of many containers that will make up the hotel lobby.

Kimen, a former NYC design and marketing guru, returned to her homeland of Detroit a few years back excited about its renaissance. To help the cause First Container needs to raise $37,000 in a mere two weeks. Fund this community storytelling project by backing the project on Kickstarter.

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