An example of the kind of transforming furniture that might be included in the exhibit. Photo: Resource Furniture
With life expectancy at an all-time high for New Yorkers and the loss of hundreds of homes after Hurricane Sandy, there have been some serious concerns about where and how we're all supposed to keep living here together. Interest in smaller dwellings as a solution had already been growing since before the storm, and now the Museum of the City of New York has announced an exhibition exploring the possibilities of tiny apartments entitled Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers. In addition to offering insights into New York City’s changing demographics (especially the growth of single adult households), the exhibit will allow visitors to step into “LaunchPad”, a 325 sq. ft., fully-furnished apartment outfitted with transforming, space-saving furniture by Clei and Resource Furniture.
Even before Sandy struck, the city was already looking into how to accommodate the throngs of folks wanting to reside here, and Mayor Bloomberg even announced adAPT NYC, a competition to design micro dwellings to fit even more people into less space. MCNY’s new exhibit, which was developed in conjunction with the Citizens Housing & Planning Council (CHPC), will give museum-goers the opportunity to explore LaunchPad, a full-scale 325 s.f. apartment outfitted with space-saving furniture and other solutions that allow it to morph to fit the occupant’s needs. The show will also present a deeper discussion about the city’s changing housing market. Currently, apartments smaller than 400 square feet are prohibited in many areas of the city, even though almost half of all New Yorkers are single and do not need (and in many cases, cannot afford) larger apartments.
In addition to Launchpad, “Making Room” will highlight five proposals from a 2011 CHPC design challenge exploring an array of new housing types such as mini-studios, shared housing options and accessory units for extended families. A selection of responses to NYC’s adAPT NYC mini-studio competition will also be on display.
“With this exhibition, the Museum of the City of New York and the Citizens Housing & Planning Council are giving New Yorkers a glimpse into the future of housing in our city,” said Susan Henshaw Jones, Ronay Menschel Director of the Museum of the City of New York. “The exhibition clearly demonstrates why New York City needs to allow the development of new types of housing units.”
Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers will open at the Museum of the City of New York on January 23, 2012.