Graham Hill – Less is More
Graham Hill, a writer, designer and the founder of Tree Hugger lives in a 420 sq. ft apartment renovation in NYC (treehugger.com is a great environmental website that covers green living a to z: from makeup and fashion to architecture, art and living tips). The mirco-apartment can transform into 8 rooms; can seat 12 at a dinner table, allow guests to sleep over and can morph into various living spaces. The space is custom (though several mass-made parts were utitlized) and designed with moveable walls,which allow the space to change depending on how it is being used (as a home, as a place for entertaining, for dining, for guests, for sleeping, for working, etc). The walls become storage containers for the core elements, so that the bedroom folds up to become the living room, the kitchen expands and contracts and furniture morphs to accommodate several guests. The transformative walls allow for adjustments to the space to be made quickly so transitions between activities are not time consuming or complicated. Apartment walk-through video: http://vimeo.com/55389782#
Hill’s apartment represents a contemporary movement that questions our society’s accumulation of “things.” Hill argues that we don’t need as much “stuff” and calls for a re-prioritization of our items, as well as choosing products and spaces that are multi-functioning. Hill’s ideas on smaller living grew from his career; as a business entrepreneur he was constantly moving from place to place – essentially living out of hotels – and he came to the realization that he could live lightly with less things and still be happy. His philosophy is: “Less Stuff, Less Space = Less CO2, More Money, More Happy” Hill refers to this notion of downsizing as “life edited.” Watch his evocative TED Talks video here: http://www.ted.com/talks/graham_hill_less_stuff_more_happiness.html
There are now hundreds of precedents for micro-apartments like Hill’s. Similar to how his apartment works, many micro apartments have folding, sliding and expanding walls which house the core elements of living (kitchen, bedroom, living/working room) – making smaller spaces livable for more people (singles, couples and families). And while everyone may not be able to live in a mirco-apartment or even a small-space, we find Hill’s notions of downsizing and prioritizing products to be inspiring ideas for the future of design.
all images from Gizmodo