Andrea Zittel’s Wagon Station Encampment

During mild weather in the Joshua Tree area of California, artist Andrea Zittel’s “Wagon Station Encampment” comes alive with artists, designers, hikers and campers and many of them stay in these elevated sleeping pods that allow for comfort, protection from the elements and fresh air. The pods are located a short walk from an outdoor communal kitchen, an outdoor shower and composting toilet. wagon-station-A-Z-zittel-sleepingpod Zittel’s A-Z West, a 35-acre residential and studio complex in the desert is a testing ground for the artist’s innovative sculptures, art installations and various design projects. The 10 sleeping pods are a second generation version of several types of designs that Zittel created for various friends and visitors. The pod designs were based on NASA Mars base tests in the Mojave desert and the pioneer settlers of Arizona. WagonEncampent-pod While they are not meant for full-time living, artists can spend several weeks at the encampment studying art, filming or writing. Each sleeping pod can be locked at night and contains a small door for ventilation, hooks for clothes, a comfortable mattress and bedding. Artists can personalize the pods with their own designs, rugs, bedding or paintings. Desert sand on the bed needs to be regular brushed off with a small broom. wagon-encampment-AZ The encampment is open during one month in the fall and one month in the spring. Staying at A-Z West is free, but each guest must apply for their retreat/residency and are required to help out during the communal work hour — known as the “Hour of Power.”

“The Wagon Encampment” communal kitchen with propane stove, sink and running water

wagon-encampment-kitchen andrea-zittel-AZ-west-wagon-station-encampment-1

“The Wagon Encampment” composting toilet

Photos and video stills by Andrea Zittel, Home for Now and Art21 By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]


12 thoughts on “Andrea Zittel’s Wagon Station Encampment”

  1. very interesting. Why only a month in the fall and in the spring? Is it due to weather or the National Park Service personnel?

    • Thank you for your comment, Mary. I think the limited time is because of the weather. The summer is too hot. The pods are located on the artist’s own property.

  2. I could actually live like this full time. In fact, I am planning on doing something quite similar on my 5-acres in the Missouri Ozarks.

    Outdoor kitchen, shower, and composting toilet. Small sleeping area with enough room to also sit and read with a small writing desk. Plenty of outdoor sitting areas for when the weather is nice and I’m not gardening. Lastly, a wood fired sauna will finish off the property.

    Initially, while developing my woodstead, my sleeping quarters will be a 12’x12′ canvas tent which just arrived today. I haven’t decided on a construction method for my permanent hut but it will likely be a mixture of native stone, cob, and cordwood.

    I hope to being work in March.


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