Diogene Prototype Micro House

Diogene by Renzo Piano - Exterior

An incredible amount of design and engineering work hide behind the minimalist skin of this tiny house. It’s been made to exist autonomously, providing water & power through rainwater collection & solar panels – while taking care of the waste produced by its inhabitants. The furniture, mechanicals, and living space are all part of the same fully integrated unit.

It was originally conceived by designed by Renzo Piano but in its current form combines the results of a collaboration between several companies, designers, and engineers. The inspiration comes from an accumulation of sources from Henry David Thoreau to Corbusier’s CabanonThe name Diogene comes from antique philosopher Diogenes – legend says he lived in a barrel because he thought worldly luxuries to be superfluous.

This prototype of a future productized tiny house is on display on the Vitra Campus in Germany from June 12th through July 17th. In 2014 three variations should become available to buyers looking for a micro home, studio, retreat, or garden office.

Read more on the Vitra website.

Diogene by Renzo Piano - Interior

Diogene by Renzo PianoDiogene by Renzo Piano - Exploded View

micro house diagram


  1. P

    I have to make a comment at this point about the pictures. This is something I’ve noticed for a long time and it’s really getting crazy. As you can see from this building’s plans, it’s a cube. But the internal pictures make it look like a looooooooooooong spacious rectangle. This is because the photographer is using cheap lens tricks to manipulate how spacious it looks. This is the kind of thing that makes potential buyers roll their eyes when they’re browsing home and apartment ads.

    In the context of tiny homes though, I think it’s even worse. There’s something about tiny home living that purports to be more honest and environmentally friendly. The widespread use of these slick, commercial photos simply blows all that away. People who are interested in tiny homes are not looking for rolling TARDISes. They know the homes are small inside. No-one will be fooled into buying one based on the initial belief that they’re like Ikea mansions inside. They want to see those cramped spaces, and how space has been used efficiently.

    Let’s see more honest photos from here on out.

  2. I don’t have any control over the photographers, but I know what you mean.

    I do have control over the camera angle in SketchUp when I export drawings I’ve made – and I can use a wider angle to get more into the image. It is a trick – but I suspect it actually gives us a better idea of what’s inside.

    When we stand in a room we have the advantage of peripheral vision – a camera and photo do not. So when I stand inside a tiny house I can only get a tiny bit of it in a photo at a time but I can experience the room completely with my eyes – and tiny houses often feel perfect roomy.

    So… while we dont walk around with a fish eye lens on our face all the time I think we sometimes need tricks like wide angle viewing when looking at three dimensions on a 2D screen.

  3. K

    I agree completely. There are some pictures that literally look like a different room, because the proportions are stretched so much that the shapes are not recognizable as the same from another image. It reminds me of the wide screen TV’s showing content clearly intended for the older 4×3 ratio. I just think that a square window should look like a square window.

  4. C

    It’s not a “cheap lens trick” but merely an optical characteristic of ALL wide angle lenses. which are absolutely necessary to get a view as wide and all encompassing as that. Without it, due to the camera’s closeness to any surface within the structure, all you’d see from any vantage-point would be the opposite wall, and little to either side. You simply wouldn’t get shot of the overall interior structure.

  5. e

    Buenos dias
    me gusta muchisimo su proyecto. como lo podemos aplicar en nuestra zona?
    Estamos en Bogotá Colombia

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