MIT Media Lab Ori recently rolled out an innovative, novel line of robotic furniture that aims to make the most out of tiny living spaces.
This will fall right in line with renters' and owners' requirements to have as much functionality as possible, especially in studio apartments. These living spaces pose a true challenge to interior designers when trying to fit in both a day and a night area.
The way in which the robotic furniture is designed has the potential to turn the studio apartment into a one-bedroom apartment, with a living room and an office, no less. Not only is Ori providing the apartment with diverse functionality, but it does so in a visually enticing manner as well. Swiss designer Yves Behar coordinated with the technical team so the furniture would have a strong aesthetical side.
The company provides two full systems, one which contains a full-sized bed and one which comes with a queen-sized bed to match. Both systems can be customized in detail, turning the storage space into a closet, office desk, bedroom, or entertainment center or cabinet.
The furniture is available in a wide palette of colors such as maple, dark brown or white, matching the painting in the customer's apartment.
"Ori is launching systems that could fundamentally alter the experience and economics of the urban built environment," says Hasier Larrea, Ori's chief executive officer.
Larrea points out that the company's systems can magically transform interior spaces, thus offering novel experiences in space separation and integration. Ori makes it so that the space conforms to the human activities, instead of forcing users to conform their activities to the interior space.
But how does the system actually work?
Users simply push a button and witness how their bedroom transforms into an efficient workspace, spacious living room or generous walk-in closet in an instant. Thanks to the Ori cabinet being able to reposition itself via the main hub, owners of small studio apartments will get the feeling that they can use a lot more space, enhancing their well-being.
A sneak peek of the images from the system's launch indicates that the customization will give users free rein over how few (or many) compartments will be in the Ori cabinet.
According to Behar, a lot of the people who choose to live in high-density areas are lacking the luxury of space, causing them to settle for a tinier footprint. The Ori CEO underlines that Ori uses the robotic technology to "create a beautiful and transformative living and working environment," setting a premiere in efficient space use.
Ori says that its products will hit the shelves by 2017 and is currently working closely with developers in Washington D.C., Boston and Seattle. What is more, the company announced that it is open to partnerships for its pilot program.
Ori takes its name from origami — the Japanese art of folding paper to create exquisite objects. Origami principles are already used in structural engineering to find new and efficient ways to distribute the load, and it is good to see the ancient art taking deeper root in the construction and architecture community.