Saturday, March 1, 2014

At Home | Space edited as a Transformer or a Swiss Army Knife or … too edited?

Chez Gary Chang, Hong Kong
Life Edited was a-blog-to-a-blog stumble that happened very early some morning. Its premise is application of “smart design technology to create compelling fulfilling lives that allow you to live within your means both financially and environmentally … live large in small spaces.” The site’s founder, Graham Hill, is one of those people that can afford the minimalist über-ness; he wrote about his minimalisms for the New York Times (Living With Less. A Lot Less. Published March 9, 2013), and then was promptly called out on what was seen as smugness only one who has the means to afford the minimalist trappings can afford. Katy Waldman summarized the whole trajectory in her piece for Slate (Is Minimalism Really Sustainable? Published March 27, 2013) and included a thought provoking quote from a Tumblr post by Charlie Lloyd who wrote “Poor people don’t have clutter because they’re too dumb to see the virtue of living simply; they have it to reduce risk.” Yes, minimalism can be as an aesthetic another socioeconomic divide. Katy also points out that Graham’s “manifesto” was preceded by writings of another minimalism aficionado, Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, the founder of Apartment Therapy, who described his lifestyle also in the New Your Times back in 2006 – but Maxwell has since learned the virtue of moderation. Read and make your own opinion.

However, one cannot deny the ingenuity of those who design for tiny spaces. 

Take the Hong Kong apartment of architect Gary Chang (344 square feet / 32 square meters) that transforms into 24 configurations and in which each detail has been researched and considered and inspires. Life Edited gives this apartment’s backstory that is worthwhile considering vis-à-vis any perceived minimalist smugness: Gary has lived in the apartment since he was 14, and at the time shared the space with his three sisters, two parents and a boarder. Next is the bachelor pad in Barcelona that belonged (?) to photographer Christian Shallert (258 square feet / 23 square meters) – size that was tested by cohabitation, and failed.
Chez Christian Shallerts, Barcelona
King's Cube
Then comes the third downsize option – “King’s Cube” (16 square feet / 1.5 square meters). A very real option in land strapped Hong Kong, and supremely presented by MFA student Joe Yiu – tongue in cheek. 

How much domicile space do you really require? How much do you need inside of your domicile? Why do you or would you go either way?

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