NORTHFIELD, VT  - Using a 4x8-foot CNC router, a team from Norwich University is working with the Vermont Chapter of The American Institute of Architects to transform a 1969 Airstream Globetrotter into a mobile outreach, education and design center.

The project goal is to craft an interior in the 21-foot Airstream to showcase the architectural design capabilities of the college’s program, all while providing the students a lesson in project management realities, including budgeting and scheduling.

Ten undergraduate architecture students from Norwich University managed the project, dubbed the “Archistream” as part in the school’s spring design-build studio. Tolya Stonorov, an assistant professor at the school who advised the students, said the design team worked with felt, resin, and hardwoods to “fashion a warm interior to contrast with the vehicle’s streamlined exterior.”

The team is working with fabrication equipment including 3D printers and a 4x8 EZ-Router CNC router (video below) to fabricate components. 

The Airstream will travel around the state to show off the design, as well as provide the public with an understanding that architects can be leaders in shaping the growth of a community or facing the challenges of climate change, according to AIA architect Diantha Korzun of TruexCullins Architecture, in Burlington, VT.

The design project was made possible through a $42,750 grant from the AIA National Innovation Fund.

Columbus College Airstream ProjectEarlier this year students from the Columbus College of Art Design in Ohio redesigned the interior of a 23-foot Airstream to create a mobile working and living space for millennial professionals, such as photographers of writers looking to live a more nomadic lifestyle. The design included four defined spaces: workspace, sleeping space, bathing space, and kitchen. In 2012, Airstream commissioned an Italian yacht interior design firm to build and install a luxurious "Land Yacht" trailer.