Pop-up camper on a shopping cart

 Images Blog 2009 09 Cyr1
Artist Kevin Cyr is building a pop-up camper atop a shopping cart. This is a follow-up to his Camper Bike, a 3-wheeler bicycle with a truck camper on the back. Cyr is looking for donations to help complete the Camper Kart. Cyr writes:
It's a functioning sculptural piece that seeks to explore aspects of housing, mobility, and autonomy. It is also largely about self-reliance and making due with less.

I have always been interested in bikes and vehicles and for many years they have been the subject of my paintings. My paintings document odd and derelict vehicles: old delivery trucks inundated with graffiti and rust, well-traveled RVs, Indian rickshaws and Asian bikes.

Throughout the last year, I decided to build my own type of vehicles. On a trip to Beijing, I conceived and built a CAMPER BIKE: an amalgamation of a Chinese 3-wheeled flatbed bike with an American cabover style camper. Interested in building a series of mobile vehicles and inspired by Cormac McCarthy's novel, The Road, I started sketching plans for CAMPER KART: a mobile unit built into a shopping cart--an ubiquitous urban object.
Camper Kart (Kickstarter)
"Kevin Cyr's Camper kart" (Hi-Fructose)


  1. They are ubiquitous because they are stolen from businesses who then jack their prices for the rest of us so they can replace them. I admire Mr. Cyr’s creative skills, but I think he went awry here designing something for stolen goods.

  2. Neat art project, but I hope he took stability into account if he actually plans to use the thing. That design has a lot of potential to tip the occupant over onto his head.

  3. Anonymous #6: Yes, I get it. But the artist specifically said “functioning” and I’m gonna hold him to it.

  4. @ Rosequeen: The average annual losses for single grocery store location due to lost/stolen carts is typically about $8K-10K.

    That isn’t nothing. It also isn’t huge either, considering that national grocery store chains usually take in about $20-25 million in revenue a year per store location. It may be increasing your food costs, but by a small fraction of a cent on the dollar. In-store theft by customers and employees raises your food bill by a far greater degree.

  5. @TREQ: Grocery store net profit margins hover around 5-7%, which is far more telling than the revenues they take in. Anything that eats into that, whether wandering grocery carts or employee and customer theft, costs us all.

  6. Rosequeen, Treq’s point was that you’re balking at something that represents something like .05% (that’s five one thousandths of a percent) of the store’s expenses. It’s not a big issue.

    Besides, shopping carts are frequently retired; there’s absolutely no reason to think his project is using stolen property – other than a desire to be contrary, of course.

  7. If you Google ‘shopping cart buy’, you can find them for sale. I mean, they come from somewhere.

  8. Come on now folks.
    It’s just CONCEPTUAL ART.
    Kevin Cyr’s objects d’art are only semi-functional, which make it fun (and similar to ‘Unuseless Chindoku’ devices from Japan).
    About Kevin Cyr’s work:
    …Even if the camper is too heavy to pull long distances, its creation still suggests that we may benefit from rethinking location permanence and our true material needs for survival…

  9. Even if the camper is too heavy to pull long distances, its creation still suggests that we may benefit from rethinking location permanence and our true material needs for survival…

    Post-industrial hunter gatherers? hmmmm. Perhaps we have come full circle. …and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.

    Eliot was right.

  10. @Rosequeen:

    This is a common misconception and a bit of a pet peeve of mine. The cost of doing business has absolutely no bearing on prices charged. Businesses charge the as much as the market will bear. If costs exceed that, they’ll fold that particular store, but if they could raise prices they would regardless.

  11. @16 Danlalan

    interesting, but not quite where we started. decentralized again, perhaps, but with better tools. and teh intrawebs for ideas…both to take and to give. technophile woodland creatures. private network satellite launches for the wealthy philanthropist communities.

    Eliot was often right.

    @17 Foobar

    excellent point.

  12. I am not sure what the advantage of putting this tent in a shopping cart is. The tent with wheels is a valid idea, but the shopping cart itself is heavy, unstable (as a sleeping platform), and far more expensive than adding some wheels to a simpler, lighter, shorter tent platform. Making a pedal trike into a tent mobile home is far more practical idea.

  13. There is a non-profit already doing this with may I say a slightly more usable design:
    However I applaud this artists ingenuity, I think the design needs a bit more work. I say this having spent several months during my late teens as a homeless person and being terrified of being raped or robbed at a shelter is a genuine concern for a large portion of homeless people.

  14. “It is also largely about self-reliance and making due with less.”

    Oh. That explains why he’s asking for donations.

  15. Agreed with #23 that it’s very similar to some of Wodiczko’s work. This does look cheaper, but also flimsier and less useful.

  16. Hello Community. I’m the founder of http://www.edar.org standing for Everyone Deserves A Roof. Hats off to this artist, but at least functionally, he’s reinventing a wheel. We have hundreds of EDARs so far in seven cities, with more to come. Have a look: http://WWW.EDAR.ORG Help and support are always welcome: we are a 100% non-profit 501(c)(3) charity. Regards, Peter Samuelson

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