Due to gravity, only one surface in any space is really usable, leaving seven other surfaces for peripheral functions. But if you could eliminate gravity, every surface in a space could be used and you could minimize your living space -- at least this is the theory of Jimenez Lai Bureau Spectacular. To create a model of the concept, Lai built the Phalanstery Module, a complete living system that rotates once every hour, putting a new surface into action every 15 minutes. Of course, Lai couldn't actually create a zero-gravity situation, but his module gives the impression of zero gravity while maximizing every inch of space.
The living module is a square-shaped room built inside a cylinder open on both ends. Benches, chairs, storage, tables and lounge chairs are all built in, and as the module rotates, new furniture becomes available for use — but only for a limited time before it rotates to shift functions. Rotating on the hour, this basically gives a user less 15 minutes to take advantage of a specific piece of furniture before they relocate or fall into another person — something bound to happen every 7.5 minutes.
Lai’s idea for the anti-gravity module was first inspired by a comic book he wrote about a spaceship that folded up to take people to a new world. Lai’s hypothesis is that in anti-gravity, “one can rotate in architecture and treat all surfaces as planes – i.e. walls, ceilings and floors. Without gravity, all surfaces can be occupied.” And if every surface can be utilized, then you need less area and can live within a smaller space.
Phalanstery Module was built in 2008 at Materials & Applications in LA.
Images © Scott Mayoral