The objective for Under the Camper Shell was to build a prototype of a full living environment within the confines of a pickup truck bed and camper shell. The total volume available to work with is approximately 85ft3. This full living environment entails functioning systems for essential modern living, providing shelter and spaces for cooking, sleeping, eating, and sanitation. The project proved to be very challenging from the start. First, the livable space is extremely small, being only tall enough for one to sit up straight. The truck and camper shell were both borrowed items, so no modifications were allowed for either, e.g. drilling holes for mounting. The idea was to create a system that could be easily removed, transforming it from a camper to a utility truck. The systems developed for the living environment would be modular and transformative so to accommodate for different necessities when packing. The goal was to create a low-water system with sustainability in mind. Insulating the space was the largest challenge and the most rewarding, using body heat to warm the space and insulate from the elements. Comfort systems were made of high density foam cushions in sections to allow folding and stacking for different functions (sleeping, lounging, and sitting). Sanitation is necessary for healthy living and regular human function. A composting toilet was used for the design, lending to low-water usage and is sustainable over time. Saw dust would be necessary for its function, but upon composting, the unit will generate sufficient amounts of heat to act as a space heater. Showering serves the functions of exfoliation and ridding of bacteria, both of which bath wipes can accomplish, limiting massive volumes of water storage and waste. Storage systems were also designed for modularity. Hooks were installed the length of the bed for hanging or securing items as necessary. Some are available for hanging bags. A cabinetry rail also runs the length of the bed to allow movement of hard storage to accommodate different scenarios. The cooking method is called "sous-vide", a method of cooking food in air-tight bags submerged in hot water. The water is reusable for cooking and no dishes are necessary for serving. Overall, the prototype fulfilled its function as a full living environment with few improvements necessary for future use.
- Under the Camper Shell