Saturday, December 4, 2010

Leave Large, Love Little: LifeEdited Design Challenge

If there's one thing I'm growing to love more as I learn more about the state of American economy, our world (and American) ecology, and innovations in design overall, it's seeing the drive to make our living footprints smaller and smaller. Learning to live more fully with less is imperative if all of us are to lead healthier lives in every possible aspect from the personal to the global - mind, body, and soul. With new designs emerging constantly showing us precisely how we can do this, the excuses not to do so are shrinking. One day, it will be affordable for everyone. Call it a design revolution.

One of the leaders of this revolution is Graham Hill, founder of the website Treehugger. (See my list of links in the sidebar.) Back in October (I'm only now finding out about this, or I would have posted it sooner) he launched a design challenge: turn a 420 sq.ft. New York apartment into "a jewel box" with "an ultra-low footprint." You can find more details at LifeEdited.

Anyone following this blog knows that my classmates and I faced a similar challenge with our smaller list of requirements for our Living Cube project, so it's plain to see why the LifeEdited challenge would interest me. It's a larger space, incorporating a kitchen and bathroom, so theoretically it would be easier to do. I'm also familiar with the space-saving options listed at Resource Furniture, having utilized the Doc bunk bed for my particular cube. However, the larger list of requirements and the larger space also make the challenge more difficult -- and more fun!

Photos of the space to be renovated can be found at Graham Hill's Flickr set 150 Sullivan. It really is a small apartment -- in Soho, from the looks of it -- but the neighborhood looks charming. When it's all done, who wouldn't want to live there? (I also have to say that it reminds me of a Counting Crows song, "Sullivan Street.") Keep your eye on the submissions; they're all pretty amazing! The deadline also happens to be my birthday, which makes me peculiarly motivated to make the attempt, despite not knowing anything about super-insulating or how to offset (or not) existing gas radiators.

If you're working on this design challenge, I'd love to hear from you!

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