Capsule Living Studio was formed by THE FUTURE PEOPLE as a five year experimental live/work project. The goal of the project was to explore how living in an open and public space would affect us and how doing so would create interactions with the public that would otherwise not be possible. We rented an empty 1,000 sq/ft storefront at 136 S Division in downtown Grand Rapids, MI, modified it with a shower and small kitchen, and moved in.
Capsule became a place of people, hospitality, unusual connections, and breaking down class division. We hosted art exhibits, community meetings, fundraisers, and film showings. Capsule was essentially an outreach program for creative living - demonstrating an alternative to standard housing and helping to create social permission to break the cultural norms that surround housing choices. Capsule was also located in the center of an area that provided health services, shelter, meals, and housing to low income and homeless individuals. Our interactions and friendships with those struggling with housing gave further purpose to our own housing experiment.
About 8,000 guests came into our home over the course of the five years, many not realizing it was a home until they started to open the drawers or asked “How much for these shoes?” It was this combination of home and public space that energized the studio and since it was set up with much of Cameron’s furniture, it was often that people would come in shopping with a friend and end up sitting and talking for a long time.
Capsule was about both exploring and demonstrating possibility. It was about testing the feasibility of living and working in a space that changes from public to private with the pull of a curtain.