A unique solution to micro-apartment living has hit the streets. From the depths of MIT’s Media Lab comes Ori, a robotic home system created by designer and engineer Hasier Larrea. After four years of leading the Architectural Robotics research department in Media Lab, Larrea announced a new line of furniture that is innovative, functional, and robotic.
The Ori furniture system transforms furniture into different rooms. The average size of a studio apartment in New York City is 500 square feet, and residents will tell you just how difficult it is to have a dining room, bedroom, and living room in this size apartment (correction: impossible!).
Larrea designed his robotic home system for this reason. Young people are flocking to urban cities, and often sacrifice living in comfort to find affordable housing, which tends to be small. With Ori, micro-apartment dwellers can enjoy the luxury of having multiple rooms for the first time.
“The world is urbanizing like crazy, and infrastructure cannot keep up with the demand,” says Larrea in Architectural Digest. “The way we move through our cities, the places where we live and work, the food and its distribution will need to evolve to meet the challenge. Ori is specifically focusing on changing the paradigm of space design by creating tools that allow space to adapt to us and our activities, not the other way around.”
In other words, an Ori home system allows urbanites to live large with space.
Ori Furniture Designed by Renowned Designer Yves Behar
The system doesn’t work with just any furniture. Ori is activated by motion sensors, and runs on modular and scalable mechatronics. For these functions to operate, a furniture system needed to be designed.
There was only one person for Larrea to turn to: design maverick Yves Béhar, founder and principal designer of FuseProject. Béhar is known for reinventing regular products into more attractive, functional versions of themselves. Some of his most popular designs include the Bluetooth speaker Jawbone by Jambox, the Sodastream by Play, and the packaging for skincare brand Nivea.
With the push of a button, the Ori system maneuvers panels in and out to create a new space. Like origami, a square space can be transformed into multiple shapes—which is why Ori was named after the Japanese art of paper folding.
“More and more, young professionals are moving to urban centers, for the culture, for the community, and of course, for work,” says Béhar. “Urban density is great for efficiency, but how do we solve the very high prices per square foot and make micro apartments actually livable and enjoyable? Ori, which runs on magnetic actuators, literally transforms the space to create the feeling of a luxurious one-bedroom apartment. It goes beyond spatial efficiency—it truly shifts how we experience interior spaces.”
The vision Larrea and Béhar have for the future of micro-living is luxurious, comfortable, and stylish. For New Yorkers, this could change how most residents live. No longer do you need to feel cramped and frustrated because with the touch of a button, you have a modern, spacious apartment to come home to.
(Click here to see the Ori home system in action.)
The Ori system will be on the market soon. In the meantime, use this design trick to make it look like you have more space.
By Emma Alois
Image via Flickr