[Image: A set of gifs showing a white man along with other people inside a micro apartment where things fold into walls or adjust to save space. The captions read: What if 200 ft squared could be 3x larger? It’s possible when a gesture can transform…a large bedroom…into fully equipped office…or a dining room for six friends…or a comfortable living room…What if you could double the size of your bathroom…or extend your counter space…or adjust lighting with apps from your phone]
See all of the functionality of this amazing home unit here.
(Developed by MIT Media Lab)
ok honestly who actually needs stuff like this except rich white people
Um, oh, I dunno, people in ridiculously densely populated Asian cities like Hong Kong?
Seriously, there’s a time and a place for discussions like that, but this comment is practically too silly for words.
Ignoring the lighting app, well-designed convertible spaces are being proposed in many high-density, high-land value areas, including New York and San Francisco. The idea is to create apartments with necessary living features in a smaller space, reducing cost. However, small living spaces are psychologically distressful and have added stress from constantly reconfiguring your apartment. Might be great for able-bodied 20-somethings, not so great for anyone older, disabled, or with a family.
The people who would benefit most from this style of living, at least in the US, are wealthy 20-something tech workers. At least, until micro-apartments become the norm and rents rise to compensate. In the end, renters are still getting screwed, even the rich ones.
Can I also mention that if you are a fat person (like me) some of this could get uncomfortable on a daily basis. Fuck all the commenters who are going to say “haha you’re too fat to live in an apartment” and what not. That dining room for six friends is comfortable about until you’re a US size 22/24 by the looks of it.
I guess I object to the virtues of such living being extolled by a thin white dude who gets to take up as much space as he wants EVERYWHERE ELSE IN LIFE and doing it on the assumption that we’ve all been living in huge sprawling condos before this. Like a lot of people haven’t been doing the micro-living thing by virtue of being forced into tiny, tiny apartments because rent was too high elsewhere.
Because when lower income people are doing this shit as a matter of course, it’s somehow a sign that they’ve failed. When a white guy with an app does it, well, it’s cool and modern and a great way to “save space”.
My annoyance isn’t so much with the idea of the small apartment, it’s that as the commenter said above, MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS were doing this way before this white dude added some ridiculous lighting and acted like he just discovered this was a thing.
I really don’t want to derail what’s an important conversation, but this wasn’t the work of a sole thin white dude.
This comes from MIT and it was a *team*, consisting of Kent Larson, Hasier Larrea, Daniel Goodman, Oier Ariño, Phillip Ewing.
I feel that with group projects—especially in scientific fields—one or two (white men) of the group tends to get all the credit, often at the expense of other team members. Remember, just because only one or two people are shown demonstrating something doesn’t mean that they created that something.
And the Changing Places projects by MIT are not meant for today. It’s an attempt to acknowledge problems that exist today and will be worse tomorrow and start addressing them today.
This one project is not best for disabled people, but there’s also Recognizing Activities of Daily Living in the Home Setting, which is designed specifically for people who have health concerns or are aging. *This would be primarily an assistive device that could really increase quality of living and length of life among disabled and aging populations.
There’s MIT Commuter Common, which is designed to help examine commuter footprints, which could be a game changer for how public transit works as a whole—which I hope I don’t need to explain impacts the poor—and therefore predominately queer and brown—much more than it does the rich.
TL;DR: Please stop assigning every achievement to the one (white) spokesperson. Doing so erases the accomplishments of POC scientists. Don’t go off of just the tiny scrap of information that you’re given by a page like HuffPo, for god’s sake.
Concerns about its availability are valid. Concerns that—like absolutely every new technology—some of these projects will be at first available only to the rich and therefore right are valid. Concerns that some of the projects may benefit primarily able bodied people are valid.
1) The point not to invalidate the other team members is worthy.
2) But the US based team is columbusing the innovation of a Hong Kong architect. And individuals claiming ‘but now it’s being brought to America’ as if copying or modifying on top of existing work to introduce it to a US audience equals invention and innovation, need to STFU and STFD.
3) And them having other projects or more accessible projects doesn’t change the fact there’s lack of universality in THIS project. And it’s more than just ‘concerns’ that such ‘may benefit primarily able bodied people’. It’s historic knowledge of how and when things get established as baseline and then the need for accommodations are deemed as ‘special interest’ / ‘special requests’ and ‘interrupts to design flow’ and the likelihood that individuals will be counted as ungrateful when presented with things that didn’t factor in their needs and then told they don’t know how to maintain it when they CAN’T use it as designed.
3a) A good example of which - I spent the last week almost daily going in and out of a government building involved with interacting with the elderly, ill and otherwise disabled. It’s a NEW building, 18months to 2 years old TOPS. And it’s OBVIOUS that able-bodied people designed all the handicap access / no one disabled was brought to review site plans or walked through the site. The handicap access buttons for the doors are in an awkward place away from the doors. The doors open badly and affect wheelchairs. The slope up to the front door, is nicely through a garden but too steep for cane use or solo non powered feeling weak wheelchair use. The bathrooms are large and unisex with a handicap bar but no hooks to hang anything, no shelves to rest anything, the sink is too high and the door lock is BEHIND the door handle making locking the door awkward and painful. There were few places for a wheelchair to park in the waiting room. There are no signs for people who follow written instructions better than aural. And the info monitor is only on one side of the waiting room behind a wall and doesn’t address special appointments, while the PA system is slightly staticky enough to be garbled for some. There’s also no variation in chair heights for people with different abilities to sit as they are able. There’s a no talking on cellphones in the waiting room rule - only in the vestibule - but there’s no seating in the vestibule.
And that’s just y’know the IMMEDIATE stuff. And this is a building where they know most everyone coming in will be elderly, injured, ill, physically or mentally disabled, or with small children in push-trolleys.
Yet if you asked them if the place was handicap accessible they’d shout yes - it meets requirements.
The point is, who decided the requirements? And when did they decide them? And HOW did they decide them? And who counted? Wheelchair users? The blind? The deaf? Cane users? Autistics? PTSD survivors? Epileptics?
Their ‘no eating in the waiting room, only outside’ - how the fuck does that work in winter with diabetics sitting waiting for 2 or more hours?
The moment something gets out the door into prototype territory and certain stuff HASN’T been already included, the likely hood of it EVER being included decreases incredibly.
And when it’s a projec that gets a lot of non-disabled enthusiasm? The attention span for access gets even smaller.
I’m not gonna go ‘well this project doesn’t think of me, but it’s still cool’. I have to effing do ‘this doesn’t think of me’ all fucking day long already. Fuck cool. Fuck ‘only one project’.
Only one project is like ‘only one step up’.