ABOUT THE PROJECT

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The Apparatus X project started with an exploration of the architect as an activist in areas of needed intervention.



INITIAL STUDY

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast specifically St. Bernard’s Parish and the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans, Louisiana. After many initial recovery efforts have failed and additional rebuilding factors have surfaced, these areas have still not effectively been reinhabited.

     1 Political issues: relief response factors (including the past failure of 

        evacuation and rescue), influence/policies (that sometimes undermine re-

        habitation, including newly enforced FEMA standards)

     2 Housing issues : lack of funds, flood insurance, demolition of home, new

        housing standards, lack of infrastructure

     3 Quality-of-life issues: a decentralized education system that contributes to

        Class segregation, general safety with regards to NOPD corruption and

        inefficient crime response, and the fear of flood recurrence and levee failure

 

The project advocates an engaging and educational rebuilding strategy to be initiated and implemented by an activist architect as a member of the community. This can be a strategy of material reclamation and repurposing, participatory design, and social engagement bringing together tools, knowledge, and hard work to effectively rebuild these neighborhoods.

 

Click here to view the full Bachelor of Architecture undergraduate thesis written and developed by Aaron Wertman. (NOT AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME)

TODAY...
In order to acheive this long term vision, the initial catatlyst must be discovered or created.  This initial catalyst is Apparatus X, and it's envisioned impact goes beyond that of single community application.

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SO WHAT IS APPARATUS X?

Apparatus X is a recreational vehicle that has been redesigned as an adaptable tool trailer capable of transforming an empty lot into a workspace in communities and areas affected by natural disaster. The trailer will also serve as a mobile design studio for both individual and community design, fostering a collective knowledge and collaborative learning environment. As a third function, the trailer will serve as a micro living unit, which functions at a high level of mechanical efficiency and illustrates a comfortable and spatially efficient living environment.

 

There are multiple goals and values associated with this design build project:

        To provide an apparatus to provide design build service to communities

        To serve as an example of efficiency of space, material, and lifestyle

        To learn while doing / as a result of the process

        To develop skills as a design builder / problem solver

        To initiate a role as activist architect

        To start a humanitarian effort that promotes self-progressivism

                                                                               // hard work and accountability

THE ESSENCE OF THE PROJECT IS DESCRIBED VERY ARTICULATELY HERE BY NABEEL HAMDI:

 

"I have come to believe that in order to be an effective enabler you have to be a prudent provider. I have come to believe that there are four integrally related sets of responsibility vital to good practice: PROVIDING, ENABLING, ADAPTING, and SUSTAINING (PEAS). Together these define the ideals, responsibilities, and activities of development practice.

 

There will always be things and resources that we provide. What we provide to save lives (food, tents, first aid, information) will be different to what we provide for the longer term to build livelihoods (skills, knowledge, land, money, materials).

 

The question is what and how much should be provided to meet the needs of now; and how much and when so that we can sustain development over the longer term? What kind of catalyst interventions will start a process of long-term reconstruction, rather than

pre-empt it? We also know that change and the capacity to adapt to changing circumstances over time is a resource to sustain well-being, and build a sense of belonging and the resilience of community.

 

It is a resource for building all sorts of assets, tangible and intangible. How should we think about change and resilience as integral to our planning and designing post-disaster reconstruction?

 

Providing catalysts, promoting enablement - community as well as market and political enablement - building the capacity for change, the ability to be adaptive socially and spatially, are all integral to sustaining reconstruction as a developmental and not just relief process. Together they define a culture of practice, practical in its objectives and strategic in its purpose and endeavors.

 

Being strategic, after all, is synonymous with being sustainable."

 

 

Building Back Better, forward by Nabeel Hamdi, 2010

Lyons, Michal, Theo Schilderman, and Camillo Boano. Foreword.

Building Back Better: Delivering People-centred Housing Reconstrution at Scale.

Warwickshire, UK: Practical Action Pub., 2010.

© 2023 BY APPARATUS X PROUDLY CREATED WITH WIX.COM

CONNECT WITH US!

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DESIGN-BUILD TEAM

Aaron Wertman

Joshua Kessler

Nichole Hiel

Erik Shaw

Luke Dickerson

Dylan Humenik

Sam Davison

Cody McKean

Andrew Recco

Nathan Sauter

Tyler Corbley

Stephanie Rakiec

Joshua Horenstein

Brad Pawelczyk

Kyle McAlpin

Jack Hall

Dylan Friday

James McClanathan

Jacob Rosnack

Shail Savla

Jichen Shen

Architecture

Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering

Agricultural Engineering

Engineering Science

Mechanical Engineering

Energy Engineering

Architecture

Architecture

Architecture

Architecture

Architecture

Architecture

Architecture

Architecture

Architecture

Landscape Architecture

Architectural Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical & Nuclear Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Design Build Thesis - Project Manager

ESW - Engineers for a Sustainable World

ESW - Engineers for a Sustainable World

ESW - Engineers for a Sustainable World

ESW / Independent Study Course

ESW / Independent Study Course

Independent Study Course

Independent Study Course

Independent Study Course

Independent Study Course

Independent Study Course

Independent Study Course

Independent Study Course

Independent Study Course

Independent Study Course

Independent Study Course

Independent Study Course

Engineering Capstone Team

Engineering Capstone Team

Engineering Capstone Team

Engineering Capstone Team

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LAST EVENT
PARTNERS & SPONSORS
IN THE NEWS

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Wired.com Runs Apparatus X Story!

Apparatus X is published on Wired.com:

"This Simple Trailer Has Everything You Need to Deal With Disaster" by Alexander George

 

Link:

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http://www.wired.com/2014/04

College of Engineering, Penn State

Check out the story from Penn State's College of Engineering supporting project awareness and promoting the fundraising campaign.

 

Link:

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http://www.engr.psu.edu/newsevents

DESIGN SESSION -

FRIDAY, MARCH 28th, 2014

 

Our last event was a DESIGN/WORK SESSION.

It took place at the Stuckeman School of Architecture. Student designers are preparing design documents as we put together all of the design pieces. Some teams have even moved into fabrication!

 

Check out the gallery for photos of this work session!

Local Newspaper Publication!

The Daily Item and The Danville News, Wertman's hometown newspapers published a story on his recent work on the Apparatus X project.

 

Link:

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http://www.dailyitem.com/danvillenews

Penn State News!

The project was recently featured on Penn State's homepage highlighting student work from around the university.

 

Link:

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http://news.psu.edu/story/apparatus-x

College of Arts & Architecture, Penn State

Check out the story published by the Stuckeman School of Architecture featuring the project patron, Aaron Wertman.

 

Link:

https://stuckeman.psu.edu/news