Tin Man No. 11 by Kacey Wong



Hong Kong artist and designer Kacey Wong has designed a shelter for homeless people that looks like a robot.


The wheeled trolley unfolds to reveal a bed and desk.


"My question is: what if the homeless shelter is beautiful, to the point where it becomes a public artwork on the street?" says Wong.


"It will not only serve as a shelter for the homeless but also decorate the city street, in a way."


Here's some more information from Kacey Wong:


Tin Man No. 11 by Kacey Wong

Tin Man No.11 is an urban sleeping unit built on top of a moving trolley. It could be an attractive sculpture when parked on the pedestrian walkway. Standing vertically it looks like a tin robot; lying down, it transforms into a comfortable home with a bed, a desk and a chair.


I did some field study on homeless people and discovered 2 important things:

  1. Not all homeless people are jobless and just sit around. Some actually have a job but the cost of living is too high here in Hong Kong; if they apply for housing from the government they will be sent all the way out to the edge of the city, so they decide to save more money by sleeping on the street and living closer to the source of jobs instead.
  2. Many people consider the shelters constructed by homeless people to be ugly - they are physically and visually damaging the cityscape.


Tin Man No. 11 symbolizes everyone can stand up with their own two feet. Keep walking, and you will find the way.

Posted on Monday March 16th 2009 at 5:00 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • brycycle

    good god…

  • Paul

    While I enjoy the overall concept, I find it distressing that the aesthetic wants of the larger populace have to factored in when considering low-cost housing options for those who are unable to afford their own living space. Moreso, consideration should be ultimately given to the aesthetic preferences of the homeless themselves. Oftentimes I come across a building (be it residential, business, government, etc.) which I do not particularly enjoy. That in no way means that I should have a say in it being changed to suit my own enjoyment. I applaud the first point made by the designer but the second one is distressing in that it obviously gives preference, yet again, to those with homes over those who need them.

  • yeah, that’s what we did in our first year at the academy of arts in stuttgart.
    it was really fun and what we see here is an adequate solution. living in this shelter for a while would be a good experience for everyone.

  • thinoxygen

    wait, what?

  • münte

    geil *g*

    sorry, but this is sooo cool. we got a worldwide recession. I think he will use it by himself in future LOL

  • jah

    I don’t think this is a good problem solving exercise. This design is very difficult to carry, does not provide real secure shelter, and aesthetically is ugly. These theme has been explore before, and better solution have come out. Check out Lucy Orta’s work. Upon shelter for nomads or homeless people her designs are the most efficient. And conceptually speaking, her reflexion upon basic shelter for survival are far more poetic.

  • Tyler

    You have to be kidding me. How about in the future instead of wasting your time and resources creating this, you actually try to do work to get people off the streets in the first place. This is a joke.

  • mama

    A thing of great beauty. Is that a limited edition?

  • YuYu

    Wong, wrong.

  • yung

    “Many people consider the shelters constructed by homeless people to be ugly – they are physically and visually damaging the cityscape. ”

    I think most of the time the cityscape is damaging us physically and visually.

  • JKL

    OMFG… Can I see Tin Man No. 1 to 10 too? Please~~
    This is entertaining.

  • jazza

    Homeless people and pretend robots, I cant believe no one has seen the obvious synergy before…

  • Duncan

    what if the homeless shelter is beautiful, to the point where it becomes a public artwork on the street?” …Im missing the beautiful side to it..

  • Nakul

    I think the idea as an exercise is quite interesting and as a concept, i imagine it to work well…but imagine hundreds of these lying around in the streets of Hong Kong…disturbing…

  • cgcg

    Aren’t shelters supposed to… shelter?

  • jl

    “Many people consider the shelters constructed by homeless people to be ugly – they are physically and visually damaging the cityscape.”

    I appreciate and encourage the personal research that was undertaken, but, I’m unsure the robot/bed is going to change that fact somehow….

    As an aside, this content is cleared by somebody for inclusion on this forum, and there are probably a few smooth groovers laughing like drains in the editorial dept.. Unless he was complicit in the ‘irony’, I don’t think it is particularly clever to give such false accolades to young designers. Set him off in the wrong direction completely. Dezeen goes all Youtube on us.

  • basmajian

    cheap. fun out of the pain of others and call it art.

  • sub

    i love your humor! adding a bit of fun and beauty to the distressing fact that there are still some poor people living on the street in a highly developed city like hk, why not?

  • if home less people find artistique solutions they are;

    – jeopardising the big moneymakers on housing projects,
    – a danger for the jobs of social workers,
    – a danger for politicians who frighten us.

    in other words to refuse to be victims, well then they are terrorists.

  • squeed

    unbelievable.. having lived on the streets myself in my teens ans still know people who do.. i find this quite insulting..

  • I LOVE IT ! Also I saw your work on your web site. I hope in the near future we can work together, I really would like to invite you to exhibit in my Galery ATELIER PUNKT.
    Please, take a look if you like it.
    Keep a good work !

  • gintama_silver

    looks like a coffin with wheels to me

  • Rob

    Wind? Rain?