The Amazing Whale and Its Amazing Beginning—Gus Dexheimer, Fo’sheimer and Filles Fabrications

Welcome back to Project VENTURA! As a brief refresher, I am Gus of Fo’sheimer and Filles Fabrications and I have returned to the blogosphere! In class this past week, we began diving right into the design head-on, embracing the crazy-mass-chaos that our class is. We began with teacher surveys, because, of course, our teachers and staff at school are our clientele and we have to have a design that they love so they’ll actually use our the thing.

***Brief interruption: We have named the trailer The Whale, or The Silver Whale. That way, when inside the trailer, you are in The Belly of The Whale!

Anyway, this week we began client surveys. We divided up the staff so that each group interviews around six teachers/admin. with basic questions about what they would use the trailer for, what amenities they would like, and how often they see themselves inside of it…partying no doubt. So far, we have done five of our interviews and the teachers seem eager. They also seem very much opposed to having a overhead projector in the trailer. Which arguably makes sense.

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This is the cover of the brochure from when the Sovereign first came out!

This weekend, I have been looking at some beautiful trailers on the interwebs that have been refurbished and redone, much like the process our Whale will undergo. I also have found the original floor plan of the model of our most precious Whale, which is a Sovereign 30’.
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 This model came out in the 1950s and was lighter and more livable than other models before it, with a special emphasis on the ability to move around and remain comfortable in your little metal home. So it’s a grand situation. 

Obviously in our design, there won’t be a bedroom, kitchen (well maybe sort-of), or a bathroom, so this original floor plan is not really what we’re going for. That being said, I like use of space in the design, specifically the storage options in the bedroom. However, the folding door in the middle seems ill-advised. Because it’s such a small space, I think we need to keep it open and undivided so no one gets claustrophobic and explodes and dies. I actually know this because I have a tiny attic bedroom with low ceilings and approximately zero square footage to its name, and I have found that to make it feel bigger, I have to (1) minimize the actual things and pieces of furniture in it, (2) paint it a light color, and (3) store my stuff efficiently.

This brings me to the subject of our initial design. We watched a documentary in class about this couple who moved to a tiny North Carolina town to teach a class about design and construction. In every project they completed, they had their students just take a running leap in without doubting themselves. We, according to their model, have begun quick drawings of the interior and exterior of The Whale and are working on our initial floor plans. Already! Without crowding our little tiny heads with too much planning. Which I think is really exciting. In class we are also making inspiration walls, which is The Official Best Idea of the Decade. It’s like real live Pinterest! YAY! And we each get a wall in the school building to tape up all of our ideas and designs and inspirations and I am super excited. But Erf and I haven’t made ours yet. So no pictures. Sorry.

I shall end this day with some refurbishments of Airstreams that I like and give me ideas:

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1963 Airstream turned into studio, on inhabit.com

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Trailer restored and featured in Dwell magazine. Beautiful looking and well designed!

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Trailer renovation on designsponge.com

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1967 Airstream Overlander, redone and featured on Hoffman Architecture website

Finally,  this amazing picture is of an airstream that I stayed in a few Thanksgivings ago. Every year, my family drives for seven hundred million hours to Big Bend for Thanksgiving, and one year, this was our temporary home. The inside was pretty nondescript, but the exterior was so beautiful and looked so good with the crazily uncomfortable West Texas landscape.

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That’s it. I’m done. See you in two weeks!

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