In its most far-reaching aspects, container urbanism proposes to take the fundamental organic/architectural condition of containment further by exploring how a boundary might be better coordinated, even merged with the flow of material/ideas. Can containment equate more closely with transmission and, in so doing, position architecture and urbanism more in line with societal mobility and change? — Places Journal
The repurposed shipping container has become a fixture of urban architecture — part of a movement, as Mitchell Schwarzer argues, toward an "urban design as flexible, responsive and electric as the currents that feed it."
On Places, Schwarzer examines the rise of container urbanism from the mid 20th century to now, from Archigram and the Metabolists in the '60s to the pop-up markets and modular housing of today; and he sees in this latest phase a "landmark change" for architecture.
"By facilitating an almost instant building complex," he writes, "the containers put architectural production more in sync with the speed and transitoriness of contemporary life, forcing it to respond to a city’s many complex, adaptive systems."