Michael Jantzen may operate in the sphere of architecture, but he doesn't think of himself as an architect. Instead he describes himself as "an artist and inventor who often uses architecture as an art form." Much of his work is conceptual, but his compact, transforming M-Velope shelters, which he described to Gizmag as "sculptures that you can sit inside" (and definitely not as gazebos) have stepped out of the conceptual and into the physical realm. Jentzen shared his latest design (above) with Gizmag.

Each M-Velope is made up of a number of panels connected by hinges to a supporting frame, as well as to each other. Each panel can be opened and pinned to one of two different positions. With the number of panels available, many configurations and forms are possible.

The M-Velope pictured above was built for a client in California. Jantzen builds scale models "in great detail" in order to give potential clients an accurate idea of the full size version they'll receive. The latest design is one such model. Images of the model often have people Photoshopped in, to give a sense of scale. Of the range of M-Velopes Jantzen has conceived, no two are the same.

M-Velopes are essentially shrunken down versions of Jantzen's M-House, built along similar lines (or what Jantzen calls the M-Vironment system).

M-House was designed to be reconfigurable and relocatable. Indeed, the first was built, then taken apart and sold to an art collector in Korea. "Brad Pitt nearly bought it," Jantzen told Gizmag, but he had nowhere to put it.

Those without the spare acreage to put an M-House are better advised to stick to the smaller M-Velope. Just remember: it's not a gazebo, even if you do stick it in your garden.

Take a look at the gallery for more images of Jantzen's latest M-Velope, and other M-Vironment designs, including M-House.

View gallery - 36 images