Last fall Andrea Zittel arrived in Berlin on a grant with the idea that she would design her own living space. Inhabiting an apartment in Berlin for a year would be like starting from scratch. The house in Brooklyn she was temporarily leaving behind was populated by A-Z Prototypes—various modular “Living Units” and “Comfort Units” designed to minimize demands placed on the body—that form the core of her artistic production.

However clunky the term, “artistic production” accurately describes Zittel’s working method. Since 1992 she has manufactured domestic prototypes bearing the logo “A-Z Administration,” a conveniently self-referential label that indicates her interest in total design. In 1994 she began manufacturing a series of “Living Units” that could be customized according to the needs of “the owners and users of products,” as she calls them, “patrons” seeming a bit antiquated.

But for

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