MIT designs responsive furniture for micro-living

"MIT Media Lab CityHome: What if 200 ft2 could be 3x larger?" (2014 YouTube, LLC)

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, Last Updated: 2:52 PM ET

Studio living is becoming increasingly common in urban areas, but how do you make 200 feet feel three times the size?

That was the question set by the MIT Media Lab when designing CityHome, a conceptual furniture unit that maximizes space and can be controlled with simple hand gestures.

Using built-in sensors, the unit can roll out a bed, a desk, a dining table and chairs for six people, and an extendable kitchen countertop. The entire unit can also be moved to alter the space on either side of it.

Led by the Changing Places Research Group, the team has also integrated lighting systems controlled by app into the piece, with customizable colour themes. Voice recognition control technology has also been incorporated into the lighting design.

Although it remains primarily a research project for the moment, rumor has it that designer Kent Larson is looking into making it a viable commercial product, so watch this (deceptively adaptable) space.


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