This post is part of a series on the September 2015 presentation of Boston Properties University at the Broad Institute at MIT. Click here to see Part I in the series, and stay tuned for more!
Part II: Space Killers
Robotic Furniture might seem like something you’d only see in a sci-fi movie, but for Hasier Larrea, it is very much a reality, which he demonstrated through his discussion of his research and development of robotic furniture.
While the idea of adaptable space has been around a while, it was nice to see new technology trying to devise new solutions. Hasier explained the way we lay out spaces hasn’t actually changed much since humans moved out of caves and into traditional homes, in part because what we put in these spaces has not changed. He sees new answers for commercial and residential “space killers,” like beds and tables, which take up a huge amount of room but are only used at specific times. His solutions include lifts and pieces that transform with the activation of motion sensors, allowing very small floor plans to be used for multiple purposes and to contain many more components than normally allowed. In the past few years we’ve seen an evolution of micro-units and tiny-houses, but they still face the same problems as larger spaces, so solving the “space killer” problem is particularly relevant for the smallest floorplan.
This leads to the question of how much we really need in our living/working spaces and how much can be shared. Hotels, dorms, and shared workspaces offer the most active examples of how we can easily live without quite so much in our own spaces; how comfortable we are with that is another question. Here at Arrowstreet, we haven’t installed robotic furniture for any of our clients, but we have been increasing the number of common areas and designing “third spaces” in many of our multi-family housing projects, and including outdoor spaces in micro-units, creating additional, private, living space. Hopefully in the near future we will be able to install some of Hasier’s robotics and create the ultimate space saving micro unit!