Exbury Egg, PAD Studio and Stephen Turner, 2013
Constructed with traditional yacht-building techniques, this 20-foot-long floating oval on an inlet in southern England functions as a self-sufficient studio and home for artist Stephen Turner. His work, which is inspired by water, relies on data he collects here on the rising and ebbing tides.
Bicycle Sauna, H3T Architects, 2011
Equipped with the necessary hookups to tow behind a tandem bike, this richshaw-like contraption is a sauna that, amazingly, can fit six. Heat is generated by an internal fireplace and trapped by the polycarbonate hood.
Cristal Bubble, by Pierre Stéphane Dumas, 2014
This plastic-wrapped hotel room debuted in France, yet its inflatable design lets travelers sleep under the stars anywhere they please (anywhere secluded enough for see-through walls, that is). The spheres are available to rent in several Western European countries.
Diogene, Renzo Piano, 2014
Italian architect Renzo Piano designed this short-term meditation hut, which is perfectly sized to be transported via truck. For more extended getaways, the aluminum unit contains a sofa bed, bathroom, and kitchen.
OTIS, Lucas Brown/Green Mountain College, 2013
Professor Lucas Brown realized this tiny house, which can be towed on a standard trailer behind any four-cylinder car, with help from students at Green Mountain College in Vermont. A rainwater system and single solar panel power the teardrop-shaped transportable.
Inflatable Space, Penttinen Schöne, 2010
Commissioned as an interactive arts project in Essex, England, this swollen, whimsical structure is now used as a kid-friendly pavilion for a housing estate.
Glass House, Santambrogiomilano, 2012
All glass houses privilege their surroundings over themselves, this Milanese one especially. Its petite envelope, which manages to fit three floors, makes it practically vanish into the forest.
GRID, Carter Williamson Architects, 2012
Envisioned as emergency housing for after tsunamis, this steel prefab from Australia arrives flat-packed and can be assembled in four hours. With solar panels and rainwater tanks, it's possible for it to house up to 10 people in a pinch.
Shelter No. 2, Broisson Architects, 2008
This prefab made mostly of recycled materials is modest, but not too modest for a spiral staircase. Three levels culminate in a large skylight, which filters natural light all the way down to the ground floor's hydroponic garden.
Preorder Nanotecture to see more pint-sized design, from dog houses to cabins.
Rebecca Roke's Nanotecture, a compact compendium of over 300 tiny built things, is available to preorder now through Phaidon. Preview a few of the collection's most surprising projects here.