The Ultimate Convertible Small Home: A Critique

I’m a big fan of small spaces and using your space to its maximum efficiency. Naturally, I was intrigued by a “house in a box” concept presented in this Fast Company blog post, “MIT’s CityHome Is A House In A Box You Control By Waving Your Hand.”

The idea starts with the idea of a murphy bed, or “if I don’t need it, why does it have to be out taking up room anyway?” but takes it to the next level and murphy-izes the entire living area. With the wave of a hand or voice command, parts of the apartment extend from the main unit. There is a video in the article that shows everything from making dinner to hosting a disco party in a very small apartment.

It’s not the first time I’ve seen this. Other examples include:

However, it’s the first time I’ve seen a motorized version. And then, some very funny scenarios crossed my mind.

  1. Calling in to work late because my apartment wouldn’t let me open the bathroom segment. Brings doing the potty dance to a whole new level. Also, what do you do if your partner needs to pee in the middle of the night? Do you get folded into the drawer with the bed so the bathroom can open?
  2. Leaving the dirty dishes in the sink, only to have food fall into the mechanics and start to rot. Must smell lovely. Of course, a key to small living is being very, very neat. Realistically, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t left the dishes overnight.
  3. What if it gets stuck, like a pop-up headlight on certain cars in the 1980s and 90s. I can just see it now; the bed gets stuck halfway and you’re left sleeping on a papasan chair from Pier One.

Certainly, I jest. I think people should take up the least amount of resources and space they possibly have to and this is a fun way to maximize one’s space. Still… Imagine if your apartment eats your cat.


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