Sitting on ten acres on the outskirts of Joshua Tree, California is designer Ben Uyeda’s latest DIY project, a three-part shipping container house. One could reasonably argue that building a house doesn’t sound like your average DIY project. But then again, Ben isn’t your average designer. With a belief that “design should serve people,” Ben sets out to make his creations open and accessible to anyone with a computer. For each new design, he posts a video on his YouTube channel, HomeMade Modern, with easy-to-follow instructions for how to do it yourself. 

When Ben set out to build his shipping container house in the middle of the desert, he needed a way to power his tools. Not yet tied into the grid, electricity wasn’t an option. What he did have was sun—and lots of it. Using Boulder solar panels and a Yeti power station, Ben easily kept his battery-operated power tools charged throughout the build.

During our road trip this summer, we stopped by the container house to take a look at the project and set Ben up with an energy storage system that will provide backup power to the house in case of an outage. Take a look.

This year, Goal Zero turns 10. To mark this milestone, we took a road trip across the American West. Every stop brought a unique adventure—from climbing in the Alabama Hills to solar installations in Monument Valley to zipping around the Utah desert on electric-powered bikes, and more. Follow along each week as we release a new episode showcasing a different facet of our brand and telling the stories of those we met along the way.

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