A Texas professor is moving out of the dumpster he called home for a year. As a part of an experiment and teaching lesson, Dr. Jeff Wilson lived for one year inside a dumpster. According to KSL, the East Austin man left the dumpster he called home on Wednesday, and it was not an easy departure.
One would think leaving a home that is just 36-square feet would be a reason to celebrate, but Wilson admitted that he shed a few tears on his last night. He spoke about how he felt this week with the local media.
“The last few nights have been really sweet. Identitywise, am I still Professor Dumpster if I’m not living in a dumpster? I don’t know if this is what my mom wanted for her first-born son.”
Professor Dumpster is the nickname he earned because of the experiment. His dumpster started off as just a plain trash can, but over the year he and his students added to it. By the end of the year, the dumpster had a “window air-conditioning unit, storage under a false floor, a sliding roof with a weather station that takes measurements every five minutes.”
Wilson even painted the walls an eggshell color, and he put up some art on the walls of the dumpster. He also had a small electric heater.
During the past year, he spent 250 nights inside the dumpster. The nights he spent away from it were spent with his daughter or his girlfriend at her home. Asking his girlfriend to spend the night with him for a bit of romance and breakfast in bed in the morning was out of the question.
At the start of the year, Wilson had a clear plan in mind. He wanted to show that people could live a “pretty good life in and on a lot less.” He feels like he succeeded with his experiment. Over the past year, he had “more moments” with less stuff.
The dumpster will still have a use in the days and months to come. It will act as the center of an educational project.
According to KHOU, Wilson said, “[W]e are launching what we call a dumpster home school. So under that effort teachers and educators can spend a night in here. Walk home, back to the classroom with curriculum on sustainability about living on less.”
Students will have the task of turning to the trash dumpster into a home. Students that stayed in the dumpster already did have one complaint, and that is the dumpster’s weak Wi-Fi signal. Wilson hopes to change that in the future. He revealed that his dream is to have Google Fiber for the dumpster.
Dr. Jeff Wilson has already decided on his next project, and it will not involve a trash can in any way. He is moving up to homes, but the homes won’t be his own. He will spend 99 nights in 99 different homes in Austin. KSL described the plan.
“The new project, called 99 Nights ATX, will continue his exploration of the contemporary notion of house and home in Austin, in conventional and unconventional spaces — not to mention determine where he’s going to live next. It helps that he has just a handful of shirts and a few pairs of shoes — enough to fit in a bag as he schleps around town, usually on his bike.”
With this experiment, he wants to learn a “comprehensive view of the stories people tell themselves about home.”
What do you think of this professor’s journey?
[Photos: Professor Dumpster Instagram]