Ton Matton’s chicken coop—a sly protest against European agriculture laws—is getting second looks for its urban-meets-rural aesthetic.
The epitome of a statement piece, Dutch designer Ton Matton’s oak Chicken Cabinet has received raves for its compact design, all while slyly poking fun at European Union laws about what qualifies as a free-range chicken.
Designed at Matton’s studio in Wendorf, Germany, the Chicken Cabinet is the latest example of Matton’s FreeRange Furniture line, part of his continuing project to bring rural solutions to urban issues.
Working out of an empty school-turned-design lab he calls Werkstatt Wendorf, Matton focuses on products that empower people to avoid the consumerist mindset and be more self-sufficient, such as composting toilets and a shower with its own plant-based water filtration system.
“The German countryside is paradise,” Matton says. “It’s very empty. Wendorf is a small village where you can't buy anything, so it gives you the chance to concentrate and not be a consumer all the time.”
The Chicken Cabinet that has been getting so much attention online recently is one-of-a-kind. It occasionally travels to exhibitions, but Matton himself doesn’t really use it, since he isn't really pressed for space like his target urban audience.
Matton's family's current home boasts 84 times more room than his old Rotterdam apartment. “Since I live in the countryside, I prefer to have my chicken outside and happy,” he says.