Post 11: Utilitarian Modular Container Part 1

My vision for the project encapsulates a utilitarian aesthetic in the form of a modular hexagonal cargo container that could be feasibly seen in the foreseeable future or in a video game. Given the aesthetic, I drew inspiration from actual cargo containers — ubiquitous in logistics and variants that fulfill roles ranging from prefabricated housing units to workshops — and assets in many video games I’ve played. 

Regarding real-life inspiration, the cargo containers seen everywhere are pretty versatile as they’re typically repurposed to fulfill other tasks besides storage. Anyone has probably already seen the numerous instances of some old containers being turned into small houses or office spaces, but containerized housing units piqued my attention. Containerized housing units (CHU) are familiar sites in construction sites, remote areas, military installations, and places that require rapid establishment of infrastructure suitable for prolonged periods. In some instances, CHUs come pre-furnished along with other amenities like running water and electricity once hooked to a local system.

[1] CHU
This is further exemplified by an RTS game called Halo Wars 2, in which base building is delegated solely by deploying prefabricated structures. Unlike most other games that have the building spring out of the ground and built in an instant, the base building in Halo is done by aircraft ferrying structures into a designated area before having it deployed — having unfurling components that expand the structure and functionality. 


[2] Halo Wars 2 UNSC Barracks

The hexagonal-shaped idea was mainly derived from the Command & Conquer series. Especially the troop containers used by GDI’s dropship or general storage. These containers are seen as troop compartments latched under a transport ship or stacked tall in the environment.

[3] V-35 Ox Troop Transport from Command & Conquer
I once also aimed to incorporate aspects of the base building/customization of the game Subnautica. While I haven’t played the game, I have seen numerous builds online — having interconnected pieces to create a sprawling underwater to place furniture or utility like energy or crafting stations gave me ideas on incorporating further utility. Initially, I planned to create multiple variants of the same container that fulfilled various roles, such as a barracks, a workshop, and an open motor pool. Unfortunately, this aspect was cut due to time constraints, though I plan to revisit this idea in future iterations of the project.


[4] Subnautica Modular Base
While these were sufficient for the project, I perused the internet (mainly Pinterest and ArtStation) for other references I could use. The quick mockup I made for the previous post severely lacked any more minor details that further gave life to the model. Below are a few of the several references I’ve used while modeling the project.


[5] Motorized Cargo Transporter
[6] Sci-Fi Door
There were multiple motifs I picked up while looking up these references, such as trimmings, geometric patterns/indentations, and exposed bolt heads, which are some characteristics I’ve tried to incorporate into my model, though admittedly not of the same caliber or left out due to my limited experience utilizing Blender.

All of these sources guided the overall aesthetic and principle that I wanted to achieve for this project: the container being capable — or at the very least seen as having the potential to — of fulfilling other utility aside from storing cargo. While a far cry from the original vision of having different variants to further drive home the broad utility these containers would be capable of, it nonetheless still gives the utilitarian aesthetic.






[3] Screenshot from Command & Conquer








[7] Program Used: Blender 4.0

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Ari Matrajt Frid
    April 23, 2024 4:38 pm

    Hi Vincent, this looks like an awesome idea. Is your modular container for cargo only? Or could it be adapted to become a living space like some of your references? Also, will you build this out or is it a 3D model? Either way great work!

    • Vincent Tang
      April 27, 2024 2:46 pm

      The current model is indeed for cargo use only, though I wanted the design of the container to have people consider that it could serve other purposes like I initially envisioned. I haven’t had plans to create a physical model though I’ll keep that in mind for the future.


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