architecture · community

As population grows, houses shrink

Well, we’ve passed the 7 billion mark with humans on the planet So what to do about it? Make room!

The problem is there just isn’t enough cheap energy or water or land for 9 billion or 10 billion people to live the same way. So what if Americans set a different example? Consume less by living smaller? The Japanese do it. Can small be beautiful in the U.S.? Some people think so.

The article goes on to explain lots of different examples, such as micro studios:

In cities, modules can be stacked to make a new generation of efficient buildings. At ZETA headquarters, architect Taeko Takagi rolls out a blueprints with one of ZETA’s prototypes.

“It is a micro studio,” she says. “The units are under 300 square feet.”

That’s truly micro: smaller than most suburban living rooms. Porat says there’s a group that might find this alluring, though: “What I call the technocrati generation that uses the city as its living room and kitchen and goes to practically a dorm room to crash at the end of the day.”

“The psychology of convincing someone is to provide very simple things, like enough storage,” Takagi says. “I like to provide a large sink, so that the person who’s using it doesn’t feel like they’re lacking or living smaller and everything is miniaturized.”

Read more on NPR: As Population, Consumption Rise, Builder Goes Small