San Francisco Considers Teeny-Tiny Apartments: Is Shoebox Living the Future? San Francisco Considers Teeny-Tiny Apartments: Is Shoebox Living the Future?
Design

San Francisco Considers Teeny-Tiny Apartments: Is Shoebox Living the Future?

by Meghan Neal

July 30, 2012

"Part of this trend is that people are realizing, that's not really what life is about. Interacting with your family and your neighborhood and your city—that's what life's about," says Hill. "And so small living sort of forces that interaction more."

Opponents worry such small quarters would compromise quality of life, or at least set things down a slippery slope, SF Public Press reports. But Hill argues that what you gain from urban living and life simplification make up for what you lose in square footage. Density fosters more human interaction, which means more ideas floating around and ultimately, innovation. “The city is your living room,” he says.

Still, fitting your home into a 12x12-foot space is going to mean making some sacrifices. This is where "editing your life" comes into play. If you're a fashion lover, maybe it's worth keeping those 12 pairs of jeans, but if not, why bother? If you don't like to cook, a 2-burner stove instead of a full-sized should suffice, says Hill.

Multi-functionality is paramount. The idea is to create a space that morphs depending on the need at the time. Furniture companies are beginning to sell combination pieces, like dining room table/beds, kitchen table/desks—anything that can get double or triple duty out of a general area, when the various activities don't tend to take place at the same time.

Small living also encourages sharing resources, or "collaborative consumption," says Hill, which reduces each individual’s carbon footprint. The idea is to shift from ownership to access, he says. So, an apartment complex might have a "product library" full of items that are expensive, take up space, and aren’t used often that’s accessible to and shared by all residents. 

"I really think in a lot of these categories, ownership—in 10, 15 years—will be for suckers," says Hill. "We're just sort of in the beginning of this, but this is absolutely the future."

Image via LifeEdited.com

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San Francisco Considers Teeny-Tiny Apartments: Is Shoebox Living the Future?