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This article ‘An experimental House Design using Shipping Container’ highlights the work of our student Sagar B.A as part of design studio exercise. The primary objective was to understand and resolve constraints of spaces by means of space planning tools and techniques.

Hello,  I am Sagar B, a 5th Semester student of SJB School of Design pursuing a BSc. in Interior Design and Decorating. The article I have written here talks about the usage of Shipping containers as a residence. We were asked to design the interior of a shipping container house as part of a design exercise during our 4th semester.

An Experimental House Design using Shipping Container

The Design Brief:

Designing the interiors of a shipping container of size 320 Sq. ft making maximum usage of space. Provide a clientele profile and design for the same. Also, highlight the design method used.

The design process followed:

Case study and Literature study- Gathering observations, SWOT analysis, and inference from the studies

Generating a Client Profile – for whom you are designing for

Development of Concept – based on client needs and design requirement

Assimilating Mood boards – keeping concept and materiality in mind

Allocation of spatial areas and preparing requirement list – studying anthropometrical Standards

Generating Zoning, Adjacency matrix, bubble, and block diagram – preparing iterations and prototypes to understand the best use of the given space.

Material requirements

Final Drawings – Floor plans, Sections, Elevations, 3D modeling, Furniture design, Electrical / Lighting Layout, Softsacping, Interior Accessorising

Client profile:

Client: Architect

Design: Container house

Design thinking: Taking inspiration from case studies and a few books related to residential interiors



House Design using Shipping Container
Conceptual View of the Container House


Blending Modern and contemporary interiors to facilitate cool colors, soft scaping, cozy furniture, and bringing nature inside.

Fig 1.0: Mind mapping
Fig2.0 (a): Zoning

ZONING: Macro and Micro level

The spaces are planned out in a level of privacy.

The floor plan is divided into three major zones:

A public zone containing the portico and Entrance

A semi-Private zone containing Kitchen, Bathroom, and Living room

A private Zone upholding the privacy of the occupant has a studio and bedroom

After generating the zoning diagram, it was necessary to describe the access route between each space. Bubble diagram and Adjacency matrix are the tools used for the same.

Fig2.0 (b): Bubble Diagram
Fig2.0 (c): Adjacency Matrix

The next tool used was Block diagramming. This was utilized in order to understand the 3-D space feel and relationship of each space. The entire shipping container here was broken down into various zones and marked using different colors. Relationship arrows were used to show the movement pattern.

Fig 3.0: Block diagramming
Fig 4.0: Mood board
Fig 5.0: Stacking the floor plans and conceptual development

The above diagrams talk about the evolution of conceptual design.

Fig 6.0: Final Floor plan
Fig 7.0: Sectional Elevations

The final step involved Final drawings with furniture, lighting, landscaping, and Accessories.

Fig 8.0: Few 3D images of the interiors


Understanding the importance of using tools and techniques to develop a viable design solution was the essential takeaway from this exercise


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