There is almost no one in the world who hasn’t wished for a place of complete solitude, where we can get away and be entirely on our own. Italian designer Renzo Piano built just such a place: a cabin that can accommodate only one person at a time.
Called Diogene after Diogenes, the Greek philosopher who chose to live in a barrel rather than in luxury, the one-room hut is self-sufficient. It includes solar panels, a rainwater collection system, and a biological toilet. The exterior is clad in aluminum panels to protect it from the elements.
This fortress of solitude is a mere three meters (nine feet) wide, but it manages to contain everything one could need for solitary living (provided you could stand being alone in a tiny space for long). A pull-out sofa serves as both seating and a sleeping space, a small folding table provides a place to eat or work, and a shower, toilet and kitchen fill out the rest of the space.
According to the designer, the Diogene is not meant to be deployed to disaster-stricken areas as emergency shelter. Rather, this is a place of voluntary solitude where one can go to get away from everything. Used as a weekend retreat or as a backyard office, the Diogene delivers a sustainable and minimalist getaway.