Fernando Mastrangelo, the Brooklyn–based artist and sculptor known for his use of controversial and surprising materials—including cocaine, cremated ashes, and corn—has fashioned a tiny house out of sand and recycled materials.
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Part of NYCxDESIGN 2019, New York City’s annual celebration of design, Mastrangelo’s Tiny House project aims to show people another way to live through interactive and sensory immersion in a 176-square-foot home.
Built entirely with reclaimed materials, including recycled glass and plastic, the minimalist footprint re-contextualizes the way secondhand materials are used and experienced, demonstrating the transition between functional and creative design.
"As spaces begin to be experienced more and more virtually, the boundaries of our imaginations—as architects and designers—are no longer limited to what we can physically build," says Mastrangelo. "That’s where Tiny House comes in; a space where the future of design can be experienced in real life."
The environment and the challenges created for it by our current predilections for living in large spaces is a cause close to Mastrangelo's heart. "I make objects that are symbols of what’s most beautiful to me in nature, and that simultaneously make statements about the devastating state of affairs surrounding climate today," he told Surface Magazine in 2017
As part of the house's immersive experience, custom scents change character as you walk through, and the house uses DARWIN, a smart home system developed by Delos Living, to employ sensors, air filtration, water purification, and restorative lighting to support health, performance and wellbeing. "Visitors will have the chance to experience what all homes should feel like—a place that helps you feel happy and healthy," says Delos founder Paul Scialla.
The house will host multiple talks throughout the festival to showcase its features, and a dynamic LED wall emulating New York sunrises and sunsets will make it feel right at home among the bright city lights.
The Tiny House is part of the Design Pavilion in Times Square and will be open through May 22, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. It is free and open to the public.