MIT's Media Lab and designer Yves Béhar have partnered to create Ori, a smart furniture line and phone app for micro-apartments that transforms a living space into a bedroom or living room - all at the touch of a button.
Ori is a compact module featuring both a bed and closet on one side, and on the other - a home office and entertainment suite. In its full-height form, a bed is tucked away under a closet, office and couch to maximize space. When activated, the unit slides in and out to become a bedroom or a more generous living room. One side of the unit features a full closet, but also hides a desk for a home office. The other side hosts a media center for entertaining.
Swedish panel products manufacturer Valinge Innovation's Threespine technology can assemble furniture in seconds without using any tools, screws or plugs.
Each room can be preset for a space, including preferred integrated lighting, so that one touch on the physical interface or on the corresponding app will morph the room. The on-device console uses manual glider buttons for precision. The system can also be activated via smartphone from anywhere in the world. A user touches an icon for Living Room, Office, or Bedroom, and the unit shifts accordingly - enabling deep customization options.
Ori also allows for customization beyond functionality. Users can select finishes, materials, and colors.
MIT researchers engineered the actuators, electronics, and software necessary for Ori. Béhar and his design team Fuseproject created the system in hopes to create furniture that made the most of small spaces. Ori is designed for micro-apartments less than 300 sq. ft.
"Cities such as London, Seattle, San Francisco and almost everywhere else are seeing an influx of young professionals, yet those urban centres are more expensive and more condensed," Béhar told design magazine, DeZeen.
"Our goal was to find a single unit scenario that would maximise the value of a micro studio or one bedroom apartment," he added.
"Each room can be preset for a space, including preferred integrated lighting, so that one touch on the physical interface or on the corresponding app will morph the room," said Béhar.
"The on-device console uses manual glider buttons that make the owner feel as though they are magically moving the unit," he added.
Ori is based on the Japanese word origami which means "to fold."
Béhar and Fuseproject will begin building Ori into homes in Boston, Washington D.C., and Seattle this summer.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.