the itinerant home
all images courtesy of mary hale
during the decours design exhibition in new orleans, mary hale presented her ‘itinerant home’
on the rooftop of the DH holmes building at 810 bienville street in the city’s french quarter.
the project was a response to the efforts of rebuilding the area after hurricane katrina ravaged
through the region four years ago. now, katrina’s destruction still endures, but not by lack of
effort on the parts of local and international groups led by citizens and celebrities alike,
doing their part to rebuild the city and provide homes for those displaced in the flood.
referencing lucy orta‘s earlier work, ‘refugee wear’, itinerant home provides a point of discussion
of the different housing possibilities. the installation takes the form of a wearable, inflatable house
which shelters multiple wearers working together to navigate through historic neighbourhoods
and water bodies of new orleans. it expands on the definition of body wear, going beyond the
gallery to be seen and worn by the public of new orleans in the context of their historical
building stock. it symbolizes and stimulates ways of thinking about architecture of the home
and the future of the city.
to produce the wearable abode, hale made digital models and laid out patterns in autoCAD.
the overall ‘superstructure’ of the house is made from 1.9 oz breathable ripstop nylon and
9 yards of black 14 mil vinyl for the floor. the fabric of the home will stay inflated as long as
there is a constant source of air maintained within the space.
itinerant home was commissioned by the new orleans chapter of the american institute of architects.
the itinerant home
individuals interacting with the wearable house
itinerant home accommodates sitting as well as standing, walking and dancing
construction of the itinerant home:
boots and windows ready to be sewn into the superstructure
inflatable place for a foot
pinning the house together
modeling one of the home’s wearable suits
all the walls of the home sewn together
finishing up sewing of the roof
lucy orta’s ‘refugee wear’ which was a starting point for hale’s itinerant home