Rents in cities across the US are going up like crazy, and San Francisco is no exception. Illustrator Peter Berkowitz wanted to rent an apartment or room there, but could not find one to fit his budget. Instead of moving to the suburbs, he came up with an ingenious solution to cut rent and live in the city. With the help of a few friends he built the so-called Living Pod, which is basically a box that can be installed in a larger apartment, and offer the inhabitants privacy. The rent he’s paying now is $400, and the pod cost only $1300 to build. It was inspired by the Japanese Capsule Hotels.
The Living Pod is made of wood and measures only 8 x 3.5 x 4.5 ft (2.4 x 1 x 1.4 m), meaning it’s quite tiny. Despite this, it contains a bed, a desk which folds down, a cushioned backboard that turns the bed into a sofa, as well as a light. He installed the pod inside a friend’s living room, and his monthly rent includes use of the bathroom and storage. Peter opted to design and build this pod, rather than looking for a way to subdivide an existing room in a home, because he believes it offers more privacy and does not alter the look of a room quite so drastically.
While I can imagine living inside one of these, having one of them occupied in my apartment seems kind of creepy. However, I do think this design has some merit for offering privacy to people in homeless shelters, or even refugees. While bunks in large rooms might work as a temporary living solution for those who have lost their homes, installing pods such as this one could give them more of a long term option with privacy and safety.