I saw two interesting articles that were about achieving the same goal:  To downsize using space saving techniques in order to simplify a dwelling.  Yeah, pretty much the opposite of “MTV Cribs”.  These are really smart, effective design examples that remind us that big isn’t always better… and it’s usually way more than what we REALLY need.

The first is The Cube. It is a “3x3x3m house designed for one person to live comfortably with a minimal impact on the environment. It has two floors, connected by some unconventional space-saving stairs, and includes a kitchen, dining room, shower, toilet and bed. “

Check out the video for a full tour of the cute lil’ house and you’ll see how less really equals more when in comes to getting rid of your carbon footprint.  The team behind The Cube Project stress that these innovations are not solely applicable to small buildings.  When scaled up appropriately, everything they used could also be applied in homes and businesses of all shapes and sizes.  “The Cube illustrates what we believe to be the best of low-carbon living.”

Next we meet Christian Schallert in Spain, where he takes us on a tour of his amazingly clever bachelor pad.  Here is a man who has made the absolute most out of his 24 square meter (258 square feet) apartment. “To sleep, he rolls his bed out from under the balcony, his stairs become become bedside tables and he can even swing his tv out from the wall. To dine, he lowers a plank from the wall, his flower-stand becomes a support and his stairs become a bench. To cook, he clicks a spot on his vast wall of click-able furniture, and a spring-loaded door swings up to reveal an instant kitchen: double-burner, dishwasher, sink, countertop and microwave oven. The full-sized refrigerator and freezer click open just alongside.”

I thought it was interesting that the space-saving furniture aboard boats, as well as the small homes of Japan inspired him.

Choice Choice™ is often about simplifying life.  Most of us live in a world that gives us OPTION OVERLOAD.  I think there is a real social swing to questioning what we really need to be happy and content.  With so many people forced to down size in the economic crisis, I think it’s great that the architecture and design community is really coming up with some cool solutions.

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