Architectural/ Design Competition for One-Room-Families
The Prize? – satisfaction only…
There have been increasing media reports that in USA, Britain and other Western so-called Developed Countries, there are increasing numbers of middle-class poor, homeless, and now whole families living in one room.
Since IKEA has not yet risen to that challenge, time for some enterprising young or old designers, architects or even engineers to turn some brain power and ingenuity to alleviate the suffering of others and to improve their living conditions…
To design a layout and furniture for a typically-sized room (or in fact for several different typically-sized rooms), which can provide:
– Sleeping for 2 adults together plus 2 babies, children or young adults separately, with options for less and even more people and different mixes (e.g. single parent families)
– There should even be a conversion that the double bed can become 2 singles either by separation or by a central bolster
– Seating for the above
– Location for TV (preferably wall-mounted or close-to-wall)
– Personal washing – probably body washing using a bucket and/or plastic bath, with a shower as an alternative
– Storage and washing of dishes (which may be largely plastic rather than china)
– Storage for clothes and shoes and/or suitcases or equivalent
– Possibly space or apparatus for hanging and drying washed clothes
– Cooking (probably using 2-ring stove, combined oven and 2 ring stove, or microwave)
– We will assume that toilet is external
– In some cases there will be an external bathroom/ shower
– In some cases there may be access to an external kitchen and stove/ microwave
– Noise and sound will be a major consideration – so that personal music remains personal, and that some can sleep while others don’t – the technologies required for that
– Some privacy will be a consideration, especially when washing changing and sleeping
– Maybe some exercise apparatus of some kind? – maybe as part of the bunk beds or sleeping platform?
– Some secure storage for valuables? – maybe several lockable boxes built into the bunk beds for example?
– Smoke alarm location and in some cases a CO2 alarm
– Room heating and possible cooling (air conditioning or fans) and also general ventilation
The furniture will be in one scenario:
– Light and easy to pack up, transport and assemble
– Durable and sturdy, even for heavy people
– Making full use of space, including vertical space (e.g. bunk beds of some type)
– Will avoid claustrophobia where possible
– Will be as far as possible multifunctional (e.g. beds as sofas)
– In some cases there should be a range of options for very inexpensive through to quite high-cost equipment
The design and choice of furniture will extend to items such as stoves, fridges, plastic buckets, plastic baths, mattresses/ sleeping rolls etc.. The fridge may be non-existent, or may be a shared fridge or freezer with lockable containers….
There will also be cases where the furniture is landlord-provided and others where all or most of the stuff will be tenant-provided. Certainly the emphasis will be on minimalism, and for example the use of sleeping bags, inner sleeping sheet-bags, and duvets rather than on conventional bedding
Furniture stuff such as the sofa-beds and bunk beds may actually become commercial products, or even timber or steel vendors may sell kits.
The ideas and designs can also be applied to Third World shanty town tin and plastic shacks.
Submissions should detail actual items and part or catalog numbers, photos and prices where items are not catalogued. Proper dimensioned engineering drawings for designed furniture with itemised purchase list. List of tools and prices required for construction and assembly.
Ideally, photos of actual or computer-simulated rooms complete with people at various activities.
There must be some tricks to learn from Japanese experience, and even from Formula 1 or Etap Hotels.
I have plenty of well-read web space and can host any or all submissions. Otherwise we make a small link site or blog to collate any and all responses…..
Note that just some good ideas and partial submissions are also very welcome – no need to go the whole hog….
Alex Weir, Gaborone, Botswana, Afrika, Wednesday 31 August 2011