Living in a Cocoon

By Diana Budds / Published by Dwell
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Last month we detailed Le Van Bo's One Square Meter House—a project that explores basic living requirements. Here's another experiment in small-space habitation, the modular Cocoon from Micasa.
Here's what the modules look like outside of the transparent shell.

Here's what the modules look like outside of the transparent shell.

An optional kitchen module provides energy for cooking and there's also a separate water connection available.

An optional kitchen module provides energy for cooking and there's also a separate water connection available.

The designers see myriad uses for their invention, like a sheltered outdoor retreat.

The designers see myriad uses for their invention, like a sheltered outdoor retreat.

Cocoon can also become a room within a room.

Cocoon can also become a room within a room.

Lead designer Per Eriksson tried to tackle the space issues of living in a small house with a lot of people. "Rooms and furniture tend to have one fixed function and in a small house this presents a problem," says Eriksson. "Modular systems are often limited to single functions—sofas, tables, storage—so we created collapsible living furniture with a variety of functions."

Within its nearly two-meter-wide clear shell reminiscent of Eero Aarnio's Bubble chair, the Cocoon fulfills basic living needs: sleep, food, heating, and even WiFi. It's still a prototype and more modules (the colorful components inside) are to come, perhaps a stove and chimney for outdoor use, says Eriksson.

Cocoon's designers hope to challenge how people perceive spaces and objects. "When children are drawing a house they always start with the shape of the house, then the inner walls and then the furniture. Everything is neatly separated," says Eriksson. "The Cocoon is something different. It's size makes it a room and the modules make it into furniture."

Eriksson and his team tested the piece in a variety of scenarios: outdoors, with people sleeping in it overnight, and normal day to day activities. "To be honest, it's hard even for us to really make out exactly what it is and if it's useful, but we're happy with the outcome," he says. Once it's available, the expected retail will be $2,990.

Diana Budds

@dianabudds

A New York-based writer, Diana studied art history and environmental policy at UC Davis. Before rising to Senior Editor at Dwell—where she helped craft product coverage, features, and more—Diana worked in the Architecture and Design departments at MoMA and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She counts finishing a 5K as one of her greatest accomplishments, gets excited about any travel involving trains, and her favorite magazine section is Rewind. Learn more about Diana at: http://dianabudds.com

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