More than 50 % of the world’s population now live in cities – and there is no end of urbanization in sight. The UN predicts this number to grow up to 75% by 2050. Never in human history have so many people been living in cities. This means there will be a big pressure on dense urban areas in the coming decennia. In addition to this, another strain to this is that today’s new homes are 1,000 square feet larger than in 1973, and the living space per person has doubled over last 40 years.
A contra-movement has started to form over the past few years: the “Tiny House Movement” and other such initiatives who focus on living smart and in smaller apartments while cutting the clutter out of people’s lives. This way, people can live more freely with less stuff.
Living small is not always a choice. Some people can simply not afford to live large in certain expensive cities like New York, Tokyo or London if they wish to rent a 1000 sq. ft. apartment. To them, living small is a necessary way of life and the smarter they use their space, the more they get out of it. This is why the micro living trend goes hand in hand with hybrid living, where people give their home (or any other) space a double function e.g. a hybrid between a home and an office. Office buildings are there 8700 hours per year, but if you deduct all the weekends, evenings and vacations, it is only used for 2400 hours per year. This waste of space evoked a trend: a hybrid space where you can comfortably live and efficiently work from, saving m2 in office buildings, but also saving time commuting in traffic jams.
Part of this movement is something called “life hacking”: live better with less stuff. A great example of an advocate of this lifestyle is Graham Hill from Lifeedited.com. In this TED talk he talks about how he changed his life to live in a 420 sq. ft. apartment that transforms into his every need. Check it out, it’s pretty interesting stuff and makes you think about what you actually need to be happy. How much stuff is enough?