UFO Chicken Coop, 2016
Dedicated to Gary Larson.
I am lucky to work with atypical tasks and unusual users. In the last ten years, I've learned to squeeze a writer's studio into a three-foot wide gap between buildings, to fit a family of six into a house on a forested lot where no trees could be cut, and to sensorially reproduce Poland’s 1979 “winter of the century.” But this time I was astonished. The request was: "Will you design a chicken coop?” This is the very first time that users of my design will NOT be humans.
To add to the abstraction, the creatures who will inhabit the structure are distant cousins of the fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex. Still, they need safety, comfort, and decent ventilation. They fight and have social lives; they require warmth and care. They lay eggs. After lengthy research, my studio took an experience-based approach. Using Stanislavski's method to identify better with our clients, we thought like chickens as we pecked and chicken-walked around the office. Not only did this approach help us find forgotten popcorn and coins, it also allowed us to design a novel chicken dwelling. Will the chickens appreciate it? Will they be happy there? Only time will tell.
About The Artist - Jakub Szczęsny is the first Polish architect whose work was included in MoMA, NYC. His practice with Centrala Designers Task Force is oriented towards interdisciplinary projects in various scales—from urban master plans, buildings, sports halls, interiors, and objects. Since 2008, he has worked on installations for public spaces in Europe, Middle East, and Western Australia, with clients from international non-governmental organizations, art institutions, and the automotive and appliance industries. Jakub is a visiting lecturer at Architecture and Urbanism College of University of São Paulo, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. He lives in Warsaw, Poland.