Curious Trends


Privacy and space saving designs for the shared/starter home

With fewer than ever getting onto the UK property ladder, most young people find themselves sharing rented accommodation for much longer than anticipated. Sharing facilities places a new emphasis on personal privacy, and a greater awareness of how space can be maximized for mutual benefit. In addition to this, the ongoing desire to cocoon ourselves away from the economic downturn, poor climatic conditions and social unrest, has led to some inventive solutions by young designers:

Guy l Morgan’s Athena kitchen has been designed for single or professional couples and young families. “Athena is a response to the smallness of rooms in new built homes in the UK and the unsatisfactory amount of space, particularly for preparing and partaking of food.” The kitchen aims to combine a proper kitchen with dining furniture so that a small space can be used in a more flexible way than if the table and seating were permanently taking up space.

Rasa Rankeviciute, a recent graduate from the University of East London has come up with a novel solution to the problem of dealing with the washing up that accumulates on draining boards. Her innovative plate stacking system has been devised to help people sharing rented accommodation, so that each person has their own individual plate stacking unit, thus reducing clutter in and around the sink area.

Freyja Sewell’s Hush chair (also shown above top) is ‘a cosy space, for contemplation and rest’ made from 100% wool felt, with cushions stuffed with recycled wool fibers. As well as being suitable for use in open plan offices, as a personal retreat, the womb-shaped chair can be transformed to provide more traditional, open plan seating.

Freyja says, “There are now 21 cities with populations larger than ten million, and it is predicted that there will be many more in the future. Soaring property prices and lack of available space are causing more and more people to seek alternatives to owning their own home in the city, for example sharing your room with your partner, brother or friend. It is essential to continue to develop new ways of allowing people to comfortably co-exist in these increasingly densely populated environments.”

Another of Freyja’s designs is the Ichi-Go DIY lamp, which is printed on a Z-Corp Rapid Prototyper. ‘Ichi-Go’ - Ichi-Go Ichi-I is an ancient Japanese saying that literally translates as ‘each meeting only once’, it is “a lesson in the preciousness of transitory moments in all our lives.” Ichi-Go is purchased as a pristine sphere that you have to smash to transform into a functional object. The lamp typifies the new desire to personalize every experience in a world where everyday life is lived increasingly in the public eye.

The smashed pieces are held in suspension beneath the light via chains which will be hidden with-in the sphere. The light will forever be a memorial of this unique moment of destruction/creation, as the pattern will vary depending on the angle and strength of the break. “You can retain this experience, capturing a moment that will never happen again in the same way, just as every moment in our lives will never come again in exactly the same way.”

Sole Door is a ‘dead space shoe storage’ solution by Zacharie Bayne. Just as the shoe/sneaker is well designed to protect the foot when worn, but a 'dead object' when off the foot, so the door is a useful dead object to store the shoe when it’s off the foot. Another curiously inventive response to the need to save space.

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