By Jordan Wills, Cloud9 Smarthome
Moving into a tiny house seems like the most charming idea you’d immediately regret. I’ve lived in small enough spaces to know that a little forced minimalism is healthy, but the inability to turn around without bumping into your significant other is not. Happiness in a tiny home seems to hinge on embracing the great outdoors as your living room, so location is key. It’s too bad city-dwellers facing a similar space crunch can’t decompress in the same way. Most of the hyper-efficient designs found in tiny houses stop at “technically functional,” but a Massachusetts company called Ori is engineering furniture that promises to bring real comfort to small spaces.
Ori uses architectural robotics to physically shift the furniture that separates your space. Their motorized multi-use partitions make it easy to maximize your living room during the day or your bedroom at night. A fitting name deriving from “origami,” Ori glides smoothly between programmable positions with the touch of a button. Ori contains your closet, media center and a slew of hooks and shelves. It also contains your bed and desk which glide in and out of the unit depending on its position. A single button on the side lets you select positions, but Ori can also connect to other smart home platforms, so hypothetically a single button push could also set your music, lighting, shades, etc.
Want your shades lowered? Do it in seconds from a smartphone. Not sure if you locked the door when you left the house or left the garage door open? Again, it’s as easy as pressing a button on your smartphone.
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Studio apartments are especially challenging to design, as any partition makes an already modest environment appear drastically smaller. Often times the only option is open concept, which lacks privacy and variety. Allowing a partition to not only house your essential furniture but to move throughout your home is the most promising way we’ve see to make a small space feel bigger. With the rise in urban living, we wouldn’t be surprised if Ikea is working on something similar as we speak.