The Studio Laboratory portion of Ideas City Detroit was being held at the shuttered Herman Kiefer Complex over the past week. Closed in 2013, Ideas City fellows used the complex’s utility building as a base for working and living over the five day workshop. At night fellows retired to a series of ad hoc shelters designed in collaboration with the New York-based design office Family New York, based on the OpenStructures principles by Thomas Lommée. The Frence-based Atelier Luma commissioned the specific sleeping pods for Ideas City Detroit as an investigation into nomadic and ad hoc community living space. The small structures are comprised of a flat base, onto which pre-drilled members are attached. Scrap fabric materials including felt, reflective thermal blankets, paper, and light cloth were used to skin each pod. An initial set was constructed in a handful of configurations, and throughout the week more were built to test the flexibility of the system. Fellows commented that the village of pods was been pleasant, though a bit chilly at night in the under-heated building.

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