When Size Matters: Small is Smart

In the world of liveable spaces, does size really matter? After living in an urban sprawl for ten years, I have to admit, I miss the free-flowing movement that large open spaces allow. "Are we spoiled by too much space?" I asked myself. I currently live in a true urban environment where the ratio of occupant space to occupancy is tight. Every space in my home is utilized---there are no underutilized and neglected spaces.

Then I came across an interesting installation at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. They call it the Smart Home: Green + Wired by architect Michelle Kaufmann.


The house is a demonstration that liveable spaces are not defined by size. It is based on the five EcoPrinciples of smart design, eco materials, energy efficiency, water conservation, and healthy living.

Upon seeing the house from the outside, I thought to myself, the garage in this Smart Home is a good match for the Smart Car. Smart, in this context, means Swatch Mercedes Art. These cute cars are Mercedes Benz's answer to BMW's Mini Cooper.

These fun cars run at forty miles per gallon on premium gas. It parks in very small spaces in the big city. I've literally seen them being parked in London, sideways in a parallel parking spot.

It seems at first I'm having a "smart" idea---the merging of a Smart Home and the Smart Car, until this revelation had to be brought back to reality by flashbacks of images of the ubiquitous McMansions.


The Oxford dictionary defines McMansions (yes, this term is now an official word) as "A modern house built on a large and imposing scale, but regarded as ostentatious and lacking architectural integrity." In our architectural jargon, we call this the enlarged versions of the cookie-cutter homes. This is a product of the developer's business model that giving the buyer an affordable price and biggest size of house without sensitive regard to architectural elements and integrity of materials, will sell like hotcakes (I mean more like BigMacs). Apparently it is an attempt to make the image of an elitist lifestyle affordable to the masses. Some people are taking the bait. Quality of space and materials is sacrificed over quantity.

Thank God there are enlightened consumers who are able to see beyond the fluff of commercialized houses. In true smartness fashion, they would be the ideal "smart owners" for these types of Smart Homes and Smart Cars. As more and more people are becoming informed about sustainability, I am hopeful that more and more consumers will make the smart move.

Great things come in small packages.


Popular Posts


Creative Commons License
Architecture Meets Life by Atelier Lira Luis, LLC (ALLL) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://www.liraluis.com.

Copyright © Architecture Meets Life Design by Free CSS Templates | Blogger Theme by BTDesigner | Powered by Blogger