A series of tiny pods have descended on the high desert outside Joshua Tree National Park, making the bizarrely beautiful landscape look almost like an alien world. The micro-cabins are the brainchild of artist Andrea Zittel, who installed ten of these A-Z Wagon Stations as part of the Wagon Station Encampment, an experimental temporary residence for artists and creatives. Scattered among giant dusty boulders, the metallic pods were designed with a “sci-fi pioneer aesthetic” inspired by the NASA Mars base tests in the Mojave desert and the covered horse-drawn wagons of the old Wild West.
Located on a remote campsite within Zittel’s 35-acre A-Z property, the Wagon Station Encampment was conceived to welcome creative minds to get in touch with their “desert fantasy.” The Encampment is open twice a year when the desert climate is mild—in the spring and fall—with each “open season” divided into weeklong sessions. “It is open to anyone who feels an affinity with Andrea’s mission in the high desert – including (but not limited to) other artists, writers, thinkers, hikers, campers or those who are engaged in other forms of cultural or personal research,” says a statement on Zittel’s website.
Each tiny portable pod is made from wood and metal and elevated off the ground to keep guests safe from scorpions and other critters. Guests enter through a curved hatch door that opens up to reveal a comfy bed and a small amount of storage space. One of the curved panels is transparent to allow for views to the outdoors. The pods can be collapsed and moved as needed. In addition to the wagons, the site also includes a communal outdoor kitchen, open-air showers, and composting toilets. Interested guests of the Wagon Station Encampment must submit an application for consideration. Each weekly sessions costs $100.
Images via Andrea Zittel