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The history of shipping containers might be shorter than you’d suspect. It was 1956 when Malcolm McLean created the idea as a way to ease several aspects of international commerce. McLean, in turn, probably never suspected his invention would appear in the American space western film Space Rage as the basis of buildings set some 200 years into the future. 

In 1987, a patent was filed for a method of converting shipping containers into habitable living quarters–the first “official” record of the concept–though there was mention of the idea going back to the 1970s. The idea gained momentum as the new millenium approached as a possible office solution, and California architect Peter DeMaria completed the first shipping container home a decade later in…

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