IKEA Tests Concepts For The World’s Tiny Apartments

by UrbanTurf Staff

IKEA Tests Concepts For The World's Tiny Apartments: Figure 1
A movable wall in the Life Edited apartment.

IKEA is testing out a variety of new concepts to adapt to the future of tiny living.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Swedish furniture company has been using a small apartment in the town of Malmo for the past couple years to test out ideas that will help maximize space in small apartments.

From the WSJ:

The main fruits of this behind-the-curtain research effort are movable walls and sliding power sockets that people can shuffle around to create subrooms and much-wanted privacy.

Movable walls normally come with a heft price tag, a trend that IKEA is hoping to change. Don’t expect to see the new concept in a store catalog anytime soon, though. The apartment testing ground has been experimenting with family stays for three years now, and a company spokesperson tells the Journal it will be another three years before the concept appears in stores.

DC has no shortage of planned projects that could benefit from this concept. For a look at our coverage of micro-units coming to the region, click here.

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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/ikea_testing_movable_walls_for_the_worlds_tiny_apartments/10397

1 Comment

  1. skidrowedc@gmail.com said at 8:21 pm on Wednesday September 30, 2015:
    I wish IKEA the best in this, but it's unlikely that their results will transfer easily to the US. The Fair Housing Act Amendments (the residential sister of the better-known Americans with Disabilities Act) has a way of, shall we say, disabling such efforts. Anything that moves, for example, will be subject to the FHAA/ADA's super-stringent requirements for controls and operating mechanisms. These requirements (like most of the ADA/FHAA requirements) are based on the abilities of very weak disabled persons, not the average disabled person, much less most of our rebounding "wounded warriors." A workaround is to provide motor operation at the push of a button -- but then you've added a ton of material, installation,and maintenance expenses. And episodes of breakdown, some of which will inevitably occur at highly inconvenient times. Movable items also can wreak havoc with things like sprinkler coverage. Note, in the photograph, that the corridor-like area (presumably formed by rolling the storage unit) has no sprinkler coverage. Don't think for a second that any other fire inspector will go along with an "innovation" that compromises their rules. Bathrooms and kitchens require considerable clear floor areas at sinks, toilets, tubs, appliances, and so forth. Doors must be wide, with clear floor space at both sides. That's why in most new small apartments, especially "microunits," the bathroom seems strangely spacious: compared to most everything else, it is! It's also one reason why the one-wall kitchen is becoming almost standard in new construction, and the U-shaped kitchen is almost extinct. Bottom line is that even a giant of innovation like IKEA can't do much about these areas.

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