You’re probably thinking I wouldn’t want to live in either, but let’s not get too hasty. I was reading a 2008 interview that Designboom did with Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto as he explained his theory on nest vs. cave: “A ‘nest’ is a place for people that is very well prepared, everything is assembled and very functional, meanwhile the ‘cave’ is just a raw space, which people need to explore and find their own comfort within. This is a situation where people can use space creatively.” I would say I live in a nest, each piece of furniture has the “correct designation” and you know how you should use it. A chair is a chair. However there were times growing up when I would have preferred the cave. A chair is a chair is a desk is the floor. I’ve gotten in trouble for using a table as a seat and vice versa or have been forced to sit on a chair when I really just wanted to be on the floor.
The Next Generation House by Sou Fujimoto is “the cave.” Completed in 2008, this 15m2 weekend home is creatively constructed in such a way that the user defines the function of each space. Large cedar blocks are the columns, walls, stairs, floors, desks, chairs, and beds, all-in-one. Their solid weight and vertical metal cables keep them in position. Also the blocks were shifted to create recesses, extensions, skylights, and windows (held in place by plastic plugs). Many people can enter and each have a totally different interaction with the house. In dealing with a small area, I would want a house that is mostly cave; having spaces that host many different functions. Yet it wouldn’t be a collection of empty rooms. Just like the blocks, there would be some pieces to encourage versatility and creativity.