Space

Ori

Over the last 25 years, I have never lived in a space larger than 1500 square feet. For my wife and I smaller has always been better. I know that we are going against the grain since the average size of a house in America has steadily grown from 1800 square feet in the mid-1960’s to just under 3000 in the 2010’s. The reality is though, not everyone is can afford to, or wants to live in a McMansion. World-wide the average size of a living space  is between 1000 and 1500 square feet, and in larger cities much smaller at 500 to 800 square feet. That means less room for furniture and furniture that is designed to function with multiple uses, or in ways that save space. This is where those clever students at MIT and designer Yves Béhar come in.

Full-line

A team of MIT engineers have partnered with designer Yves Béhar to develop the ORI system of robotic furniture system for smaller/micro apartments that transform at the touch of a button or via a smartphone app. The Ori system is a compact module that incorporates a bed and a closet on one side, and a home office and an entertainment suite on the other expanding and contracting as needed to give up much-needed space. (This would have been so useful in our 850 square foot loft)  On one side the bed is hidden, sliding under the bottom of the unit beneath a closet, couch, and office to maximize space. When activated, the unit moves in or out to become a bedroom or a more generous living room. One side of the unit hosts a full closet, but also contains a desk for a home office. The other side of the unit holds a media center for entertaining. Each room can be preset for Each room can be preset for your specific needs so that one touch on the physical interface or on the smartphone app will morph the room.

Ori is more than functionality. Units can be customized with a variety of finishes, materials, and colors that truly let you design your space. And the functionality means a small space can be transformed into a multi-functional home in just seconds. Beyond small apartments and loft spaces, I could see this being used in smaller vacation homes, guest houses, hotels and more.

Detail

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Outer Space Portrayed in the Movies.

Since the dawn of civilization humans have always had a fascination with space. From that point where we first looked up at the night sky and pondered the stars and the vastness of the night sky, through today where we still explore the heavens. One of the more interesting takes on our fascination with the heavens and space is how it has been portrayed in film, especially in the last 50 years. As special effects have progressed from the ground breaking2001: A Space Odyssey”, to today’s blockbuster “Interstellar” the portrayal of space in film is one of amazing visuals and fantasies drawn out of human experience and imagination. The video below is wonderful edit of just how space has been portrayed in the movies. At almost 4 minutes in length it’s worth watching. Now can you name all of the movies referenced here?

The Overview Effect

If you are in Kansas City today, you’re probably trapped inside do to the snowstorm. That means you probably have 20 minutes to spare. If you’re living some place where the climate is being a bit more hospitable take some time and watch this short documentary anyway.

The Overview Effect, first described by author Frank White in 1987, is an experience that transforms astronauts’ perspective of the planet and mankind’s place upon it. Common features of the experience are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.

‘Overview’ is a short film that explores this phenomenon through interviews with five astronauts who have experienced the Overview Effect. The film also features insights from commentators and thinkers on the wider implications and importance of this understanding for society, and our relationship to the environment.

OVERVIEW from Planetary Collective on Vimeo.