Mystery solved!


Well, we presented quite the challenge when we asked you to guess what the Studio North design team created at this summer’s weeklong workshop. You didn’t disappoint, and one of you even got it right! But it was the more imaginative submissions that sent our minds on flights of fancy as we pictured the contraption as Gulliver’s wheelbarrow, a portable farmer’s market, or better yet, a hot tub on the go, complete with shaded area for tub, open space to sun, and poles on the end to hang towels. We were impressed (and contently amused) with your answers. Several folks guessed it was some variation of a chicken-hauling tractor, and one reader saw a portable stall for miniature horses.


They were close. This is definitely meant for use in animal husbandry, but for pigs not poultry or bantam equine activity. Our own contributing writer, Nancy Humphrey Case, got it right away. (Honestly, there was no cheating. She’s a Vermont country girl and says she just made an educated guess.) So, drum roll, please: It is a portable pen to transport hogs from field to field in order to keep grazing even across a farm.

Keith Moskow, principal at Moskow Linn Architects, who with partner Robert Linn, oversees Studio North, sent us a page from the July 4, 1933, edition of The Reading (Pennsylvania) Eagle to explain its function. There, right below an item on the rumored breakup of Hollywood sweethearts Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, was an article headlined “PUT PIG PEN ON WHEELS FOR CONVENIENT MOVING.” It detailed how a 4-H Club had devised a moveable pen “to give their pigs fresh pasture every few days . . . . This not only provides plentiful feed, but gives the pigs a more sanitary environment.” And for that, we are sure, both farmers and swine are thankful.
So now that you know, we can share some images of Studio North’s adventure with pigs and design, all conducted under the tutelage of Moskow Linn. Anyone want to guess what they will come up with next year?


Students round up the pigs to demonstrate how the pen works.


Rolling along, the pig pen is as practical as it is chic.


The concept was simple: Create a portable pen to transport pigs from cultivated field to virgin lawn.


The Studio North team are architecture or design students from schools around the country who participate in the weeklong summer design/build project with Keith Moskow and Robert Linn at a farm in Vermont’s Connecticut Valley.

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