paraSITE is a temporary tent for the homeless that is made from two layers of sturdy plastic. So why temporary? Well, the 'tent' features an air tube which can be attatched to an air vent of a big building (those things blow warm air 24/7, unused warmth that goes up in the sky). The warm air fills the two-layered tent in no-time and there you have it, paraSITE.
The air vent is nicely visible here and the tent is still inflating. But when it's filled up it provides a roof and bed for someone who doesn't have that on a regular basis. And it's also nice and warm. From an environmental perspective paraSITE is awesome, it uses energy (the hot air) that would have gone to waste otherwise. But from a legal perspective it's not so cool. The law says you can't just put up your tent on the sidewalk. But Rakowitz found a hole in the law and designed another model.
It's maybe a bit hard to see but the paraSITE is laying at the back. Now it's not that much of a tent anymore, Rakowitz made it a bag; comparable to a sleeping bag. Now that the tent part is mostly gone officers can't say "You're violating law x here so please get your stuff together and leave" anymore. The above photograph was actually taken during a meetup of a homeless man who spent the night in the sleeping bag and an officer. This is what Rakowitz writes about the situation on his website:
"We designed his shelter to be closer to the ground, more like a sleeping bag or some kind of body extension. Thus, if questioned by the police, he could argue that the law did not apply because the shelter was not, in fact, a tent. On more than one occasion, Michael was confronted by police officers. After measuring his shelter, the officers moved on."How fun is it to find holes in the law use them to a good extent.