A design duo in Egypt has formed a company called Qubix that has local architects talking about a possible material for future projects: cargotecture. Cargotecture is an emerging trend in which shipping containers are used to build a variety of places, from houses to work spaces to a Starbucks location.
The duo, Youssef Farag and Karim Rafla, founded the company just over one year ago and spent months testing different materials and techniques for insulation and comfortability. Rafla spent time studying in Britain and and came across the art of cargotecture, which made him question whether the concept had ever been employed by people living in Egypt. When he visited a city just outside of London that's made entirely of shipping containers, he was enthralled with the idea.
"People are living in containers in this city, it was too good to be true. Cargotecture is a hybrid of construction and manufacturing " Rafla told Egyptian Sheets.
Once Rafla returned from Britain, Farag loved the idea as well and offered his backyard as the first place for them to do all of their testing and design. The duo thinks that shipping containers had not been used there yet because of a misconception about what living in one must be like. With the insulation methods that they use, they now report being able to keep the interior of the container at a maximum of 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
"Many people think that you're going to be in a metal box, and that you'll sit there and suffocate … Egypt is hot enough! But no, that's not true," Farag told Reuters.