Compact design

-what is it?

Fundamentally, compact design is a practice in the way which we design for compact, dense spaces, but our outcome is to provide more space. This is achieved by custom joinery, space saving systems and breaking down the traditional ways of living and working to provide a more efficient way of being. A relatively new concept to the wider world of less congested cities, but nonetheless is creeping up in all the design magazines. 

Space = money. Good use of space = value for money. Cities like New York have been toying with the idea for along time with their well known ‘loft’ concepts. Unrecognised individuals all over have no doubt come up with a way to adapt their wardrobe, dining table without realising that this could potentially become a generational design movement, not just a trend.

Now I’m writing this book from little ole Auckland, New Zealand. Auckland’s population is forecast to increase by 15.6 per cent (235,800) from 1.51 million to 1.75 million over the next 10 years. This implies additional housing needs of about 20 per cent (approximately 99,000 dwellings). Council also projects 14 per cent growth in the floor areas covered by industrial and commercial activities in the region.  So Auckland’s growth is meant to increase by 15.6, and we are struggling as it is. The only way to achieve enough housing with land/people ratio is to go up and design smart. All the while increasing the urban dwellers quality of life living in spaces as small as 30sqm for a studio.

I asked myself, and go a head ask yourself, do you think in the current design climate and way of thinking that living in a 30sqm apartment will offer you flexibility, lifestyle and wellbeing? No. unfortunately as designers it is our responsibility to start from the drawing room, property developers, architects and general public need to all jump on this ‘compact design movement’ and revaluate the advantage of not just creating a ‘centre for ants’, but providing an opportunity for articulating smart space with the end user.