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The “public nomad freestanding gardeners”
The Sarcobush is the design entry by Carolyn Wittendal, Benjamin Jacquemet, and David Farvaque for Shelter in a Cart, an international competition organized by designboom.


Below is the team's design statement written in the first person of a homeless person.

“The Sarcobush is an hybrid between a sarcophagus and a bush; it’s my new integrated bike and shelter, it’s a simple kind of capsule with a planted roof top. The city government gave it to me. I didn’t really like it, but I had no choice. And it may be a fair deal: In exchange of this vehicle and minimal sleeping and storage shelter, I will have to take care of the bush garden which is on top. The city actually lacks of green spaces; their creation requires available open spaces, as well as funding for creation and maintenance. The city is also overcrowded with homeless’ like I am, it usually hates people like us, our presence reduces popularity of the places, frighten people… So, as an environmental and social action, a 'green wash', they came with the idea that when they give a Sarcobush shelter to an homeless, they could benefit of a well maintained green area. In a three year setup, these prototypes will be entirely amortized and the city will benefit of a unique and surprising kind of mobile form of public and participative landscape. They even expect it to attract tourist. The shelter I have is minimal, it contains a sleeping area, a possibility of creating a bigger space and a secure chest (400l) where I can keep my stuff (they even gave me an adapted trolley for my dog!), it is well insulated, especially with the green roof soil, it can be opened in a wider tent like space, for day time. After several years spent in the street it’s the first time I get intimacy. The garden is entirely mine (I grow flowers, vegetables and weed), and I feel very proud to have a piece of land and a sample of territory, where I can express myself. When people see it, they are always curious and often start to talk to me. I am feeling again useful; I found back a role in society as a public nomad freestanding gardener. I think often about death, I am happy to know that, when I will be buried, my garden (this is the most precious thing, I’ve got) will be planted back in 'nature' and serve as my grave stone. I hope it will be a beautiful garden that people will continue to admire.”



Shelter in a Cart @ designboom

  • Anonymous
  • October 15, 2006 at 8:42:00 AM CDT
  • A proposal to suggest the homeless sleep in their own coffins? Seems misguided to me ...

  • cemenTIMental
  • October 22, 2006 at 1:51:00 PM CDT
  • Reminds me of the really funny scene in Jodorowsky's 'Holy Mountain' where a similarly coffin-shaped, tho non-mobile, housing scheme is proposed to an appreciative audience.

  • Anonymous
  • May 13, 2009 at 5:09:00 PM CDT
  • Brillant. Its a cool bike, an awesome garden and an even better tent. Big Fan!!

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