Last time architect Jimenez Lai made headlines with what he calls "superfurnitures," which he defines as "a building that is kind of too small, or a couch that is kind of too big," he was living in one for a month at a gallery in London. Representing Taiwan at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, the University of Illinois assistant professor and founder of the firm Bureau Spectacular has built nine of the colorful, abstract shelters in an attempt to deconstruct the different functions of modern domestic life. Drawing back to a time when "we were living in caves," Lai tells Dezeen that "the process of compartmentalisation began a long time ago, and this process may have been intensified over the last 150 years, now that we're able to afford privacy. The standardisation of the domestic programme, or the domestic diagram, is a modern phenomenon." Each of these structures, which together could could pass for a postmodern playground, serves as a kind of impressionistic room that encodes and critiques a different function of the modern home.
A framed platform in the center called the "House of Social Dining" came from "looking at the politics of geometry and the Western culture of eating around rectangles, where you can assign power," and how a "circle definitely softens the power structure." The Altar of Appearance and the House of Pleasure represent two kinds of living room, the former a seldom-used room with "the best photographs" and "the best armchair," almost like a "vitrine or a shrine of your family," and the latter a place where "people sit there in their underwear and watch TV and eat chips." The boxy yellow structure with a toilet inside? Why, naturally, that's "the ultimate fortress of solitude." Tour the rest below, and offer a few guesses as to what they're for.