Sunday, June 2, 2013

Eco + Space Saving Design

Recently, I've been really fascinated with eco and space saving design.

Now those interested in design, are perhaps quite familiar with this. In fact, it's quite self-explanatory in the name but let's just break it down:

-Maximising space and storage possibilities or giving the illusion of space (especially in small spaces)
-Using local, up-cycled materials, which are either bio-degradable or use little space if it were to be disposed in landfill
-Decreasing the use of energy within the space through natural lighting, cross-ventillating, insulation, double-glazed windows and flooring that can absorb heat (such as cork) 
-Minimising your use of materials whilst still keeping adequate privacy and acoustics within the space

That's not all of it, but they're some of the main points. Now I'm focusing mostly on the interior design side of it, however the architectural  side of it is also very interesting. The other week I saw a fantastic program on television, "World's Greenest Homes" which really opened up my eyes to so many design possibilities and career paths in terms of design, it focused mostly on the architecture behind the houses or apartments, however it did involve a discussion on the aspects of the interior design and decor. 

I saw a few videos on youtube regarding space saving and eco design, and all of them were really innovative, creative and to put it bluntly, just beautiful. The first focused on constraining 6 rooms into 420 square feet. The second was trying to be practical with its use of surfaces and the third was exploring eco-friendly ways of sourcing furniture, materials and energy. I could go on for a while about each of them, but you know what they say:

A picture's worth a thousand words.

 Apartment #1 video link:
Apartment #1
IKEA kitchen, with the cabinet surface decorated
and reinforced with recycled wine boxes, cut and
stylised on the cabinet doors. IKEA flat packs their
products which means efficient transport of goods
and minimal energy used to fabricate the products
 (as the pieces aren't assembled using machines but
by the customers themselves)

Apartment #1
Urban Garden: Worm farm on the left which is an
eco-friendly way to compost and create your own
 fertiliser for the garden. The herbs and produce
that are grown in this garden mean that you don't
 have to purchase them at a grocery store and
you can see where your food comes from. 
Apartment #1
Second hand lamps, cork flooring,  a window/door combination and a dining table made from an heavy piece of glass/mirror (that was found in the apartment prior to moving in) and found wooden scaffolding pieces (no idea of the proper name) painted black.
 Apartment #2 video link:

Apartment #2
This apartment divides into 2 separate spaces using a movable wall that slides across built in tracks. As a result you have the possibility of two separate rooms but also of a spacious open-plan room. The beds fold out from the walls and the bedding linen is secured using straps. The tracking in the ceiling allows for hidden curtains (that serve as doors) to be pulled across for additional privacy. The edge of the thick curtain, actually is magnetic and clicks securely onto the dividing wall, also changing the acoustics and isolating the room from surrounding sounds. Once the beds are put away and the wall slid back into its original position, below is the result:

Apartment #2
On the left wall is storage all along and a built in "computer nook" and fold out desk built into the wall. The shelving with the red candles on the right actually folds out so that whatever is on it stays put and there is no need to move things off the shelf in order to pull the bed out. It also works as a support system for the bed, and below is clearer demonstration of that:

Apartment #2
 Apartment #3 video link:
Apartment #2
Only room in entire apartment (living, kitchen, dining, study and bedroom in one) - Bathroom separate
Apartment #2
The metal details on the storage system work as a feature to emulate a handle, without the protruding effect handles can have. It also provides a design and decor element to the space. The dividing wall has a screen where a fold out desk pops out, and gives privacy and a current of air in an otherwise secluded area of the apartment. The built in shelf is useful as it frees the surface space a side table would take up. The desk can pop back in to give further privacy to the sleeping area. The rest of the storage works as wardrobe space with either end of the structure also hiding storage. 

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