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Thinking Inside the Box

By Jane Hwang - 2013-12-06T18:10:50Z

Photograph by Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

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Right now, millions of shipping containers are headed toward retirement. The roughly 18 million containers currently moving around the world, on land and sea, will be worn out or otherwise unfit for shipping within five years. Innovation, lack of space and a wave of eco-consciousness have given these containers second lives as student housing, swimming pools and even a research center in Antarctica. The containers are being recognized for their low cost, ease of stacking, versatility and durability.

Left, residents and employees of the TAXI development in Denver, Colorado, gather on a 100-degree day at the lap pool, made from two shipping containers welded together. 

More from the special report, Make It Last: Designing to Endure