The Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein, Germany welcomes its newest building from Renzo Piano, "Diogene". Named after the Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope, the wooden unit is a small home designed to fit and host one person and his/her necessary living accommodations. The ancient thinker was known for his Cynicism, viewing society as corrupt and promoting a simple lifestyle, as he established his place of shelter and rest in a large ceramic jar. Inspired by the idea of a simplistic home, Piano created the self-sufficient solitary retreat that measures under three meters on each side, and says about his project, "This little house is the final result of a long, long journey partially driven by desires and dreams, but also by technicality and a scientific approach."
The living unit includes a pull-out sofa, folding table, shower, toilet, and kitchen, with a window that opens up the space to the skies and natural light. The exterior is made up of aluminum and includes solar panels and a rainwater collection system, meeting the demand for electricity and water. While "Diogene" is not everybody's ideal living space, the experimental model proposes questions about contemporary values and desires, and spending time in the unit while reading works by its inspiring philosopher may prove to be a meaningful escape from society.