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Monday, November 26, 2012

The Future City of Micro-Living

Posted by on Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 8:54 AM

Some interesting passages in an old post (2009) about a Manhattan couple, the Prokops, who live (or lived) in an apartment with "less than 175 square feet."

One...

[Zaarath Prokop] added that because they save money on their home, they can spend money in “areas that make our lives better,” like restaurants and vacations. The two just got back from Beijing and have been to Japan and other countries.

Two...

“We get to really experience life and enjoy ourselves,” she said. “We eat out all the time.”

Three...

[Zaarath and Christopher Prokop] are not fully living; instead, they’re using their micro-home to sleep and to base themselves.Their lives are lived in the larger city, not in their tiny space.

And four...

Micro-housing is always associated with such lively urban environments, where the home exists primarily to be a base from which to sally forth every morning, and to return mainly for sleeping at night.
The Prokops do have enough space for a wine rack.

What's wonderful about micro-living, and why we should all see it as the ideal way to live in the city, is more and more of what is private is turned over to the public. Most of us are bad cooks. A city has lots of great cooks. It's therefore rational to let the great cooks do all of the cooking and we eat their good food with the rest of the city, with others, with strangers. You need some trees or a garden? Go to the park. You want to burn some fat, go to a public pool.

Micro-living, however, will not become a reality or possibility without a revolution in the structure of feeling. We need to learn how to feel disgust at all of this empty and useless space that's around us—see it as even harmful. The new feeling: The less private space you have means the more human you are.

 

Comments (46) RSS

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1
And for those assuming that this means the death of residential living with gardens and the like, see cohousing, tiny home floor plans, and imagine our standard, wasteful, rectangular plats and lots, isolated by fencing, instead dotted with small structures and walking paths, gardens, dog runs, etc.

We do a terrible job of maximizing our spaces as a culture.
Posted by nullbull on November 26, 2012 at 9:09 AM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 2
Look to Japan for an understanding of small space usage.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on November 26, 2012 at 9:13 AM · Report this
seandr 3
I've seen the future, and what does it have in store for us? A massive expansion of livable space made possible by the ability to cheaply build our cities ever upward. And then a huge explosion that kills off all of humankind.

But micro-living? Nah.
Posted by seandr on November 26, 2012 at 9:14 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 4
One of our health problems is we don't learn to cook for ourselves. When you take the time, it's healthier and cheaper.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on November 26, 2012 at 9:17 AM · Report this
5
Does Charles do microliving? I'd be curious to see a pic of his aparment/house.
Posted by CrankyBacon on November 26, 2012 at 9:18 AM · Report this
jcsmith2 6
While I think the idea of micro-living in interesting, it's pretty much only for the healthy. If you have physical or even social health issues, it's not really an option. So do we just push all the "others" out of the city now, or wait a bit?
Posted by jcsmith2 on November 26, 2012 at 9:22 AM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 7
Ikea down in Renton has a 300 square foot space set up, fully furnished. It's surprisingly well down and looks great, with the exception of the choice of a small bed (which I suspect is just so people can walk the space in the store). Replace it with a queen size Murphy bed and it wouldn't be a bad space, assuming you had nearby convenient storage and a small closet to hold a washer/dryer. Perfect for a single person with no kids.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi on November 26, 2012 at 9:28 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 8
Humans are far too selfish and self-centered to be able to cohabitate. The Tragedy of the Commons happens all the time.

The apartment complex I live in has specific areas for dogs, poop bag dispensers in multiple locations, and the management repeatedly tells people to clean up after their pets. Yet there is dog shit all over the place. Whoever owns those dogs obviously doesn't give a fuck about anyone but themselves. They're incapable of cohabitation.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on November 26, 2012 at 9:29 AM · Report this
DOUG. 9
I feel bad for the cats.
Posted by DOUG. http://www.dougsvotersguide.com on November 26, 2012 at 9:34 AM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 10
5)Of course he doesn't. He lives in a single family home. He has no plans to move into a micro apartment either. Live as Charles says, not as he lives.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore http://www.wishbookweb.com/ on November 26, 2012 at 9:38 AM · Report this
Knat 11
I was willing to give them a pass on a lot, before rushing to judgement. Sharing the tiny space with two cats and their litter box (if you love an animal, you make sacrifices - including to their quality of life, it would seem); the fact that they ate literally every meal out of their home and had others do their laundry every day (incredibly costly, especially given their location); and doing all of their bathroom routines presumably in the restroom at work or the gym (no doubt their fellow gym members or coworkers love that). But I stopped considering this a viable option for the vast majority of people when when the article said they paid nearly half a million dollars for this postage stamp of an apartment. Yeah, no thanks.
Posted by Knat on November 26, 2012 at 9:46 AM · Report this
thene 12
"Most of us are bad cooks. A city has lots of great cooks. It's therefore rational to let the great cooks to do all of the cooking and we eat their food with the rest of the city, with others, with strangers."

Uh, no. Firstly, that's a huge waste of money that most people can't afford - paying extra rent to have decent cooking facilities quickly pays for itself. You can do some great, nutritious home cooking for $2 a plateful. Secondly, it is really not that damn hard to become an adequate cook. I learned at the absolute lowest point of my life - I was 13 years old and living in the bugfuck middle of nowhere where home cooking was the only option, and I made nine family meals per week in a kitchen with bare-plaster walls that was infested with flies and weevils. It is really not that hard. Thirdly, if you care much about nutrition it is MUCH easier to manage healthy eating at home than by eating out, especially if you're on a budget. It's a complete crapshoot finding enough veg out there, and avoiding empty calories/excess oil.

There's nothing sadder than a huge kitchen going unused, but really, kitchens are important for keeping budgets down and keeping one's good health. I've been enjoying your posts about micro-living and it's made me realise that the smallest space I'd be happy living in, if I lived alone, would be my own kitchen plus bathroom - I don't need the rest of my rooms that bad at all, but I NEED a decent kitchen. Cut out the rest, keep the part of the house that actually works. I can sleep on a mat under the big old desk I use as an island.
Posted by thene http://thene.dreamwidth.org on November 26, 2012 at 9:48 AM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 13
Chez Vel-DuRay is not huge (about 2000 square feet) but it is a ridiculous waste of space for two adults. If we didn't have all the dogs, we could be very happy in a 1000 sq ft apartment - provided it had a balcony, and storage somewhere (I like to redecorate every week or so).

If it were just me, I could be happy in my old Capitol Hill apartment, which was probably about 500 square feet, with a balcony and basement storage.

Unfortunately, they tore the building down some time ago and put up a new building with nice sized kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms, but miniscule living rooms - and no balconies, which is exactly the opposite of what would work for me.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay http://www.danlangdon.com on November 26, 2012 at 9:55 AM · Report this
14
Another unrealistic slog pet cause. Sigh.
Posted by rummy42 on November 26, 2012 at 9:57 AM · Report this
15
I think Charles needs to spend a few years micro-living.
Posted by WestSeven on November 26, 2012 at 9:58 AM · Report this
16
Sorry Charles. I like to cook. I like to garden. I like to host out-of-town guests. While my husband and I could live very happily with far less than our current 2400 sq ft (and are making plans to downsize), we're happy to spend a the necessary share of our income to make these options possible. We had 25 people over for Thanksgiving. Five of them spent two nights with us. We loved it. We could not hae done it in less than 175 square feet.
Posted by Clayton on November 26, 2012 at 10:03 AM · Report this
17
What Thene says...
It isn't hard at all to be an adequate cook, just read some damn books or do a bit of googling.
And it is far far easier to be in control of what you eat when you cook your won food, especially if you cook every thing from scratch like I do. You know exactly what goes into your meals. And it's even better if you grow most of your vegetables and fruits too. And I swap for items I don't grow or raise with friends who live similar lives . My grocery bills are about $60 every two weeks. Try eating good food that cheaply at resuarants! Most meals don't take that long to fix (supper often takes only 20 to 30 minute - less time than driving to and from a restaurant).
Plus, some of us are great cooks and love to cook. It's an art form.
Posted by swing state voter on November 26, 2012 at 10:07 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 18

There is another name for this...SRO Hotel.

New York City used to be filled with them during the 1970s after it lost something like half its post-war population.

At the time those rooms, small with merely a bed and a hot plate for cooking, on the upper Westside were populated by junkies and recently deinstitutionalized mental patients.

http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2010/07/…

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on November 26, 2012 at 10:21 AM · Report this
seandr 19
@thene: Firstly, that's a huge waste of money that most people can't afford - paying extra rent to have decent cooking facilities quickly pays for itself.

If eating out was the norm, the economics of going out to eat vs. cooking in would radically change.

The huge increase in regular, reliable diners would create an economy of scale for restaurants that would bring menu prices down (consider NYC, where you can get great food for cheap). The food distribution network would also become much more efficient and, therefore, cheaper - consider the time and money wasted by everyone driving to the grocery store and cooking vs restaurants buying and preparing food in bulk. That's not to mention the costs of family or individual size packaging, along with refrigeration and storage. (Note - I'm assuming this change would result in restaurants popping up in every neighborhood).

Not only would we save money, but we'd be burning less fossil fuel and producing a lot less plastic garbage.

Secondly, it is really not that damn hard to become an adequate cook.

Unfortunately, that's not been my experience. Learning to cook takes time (and will) that I just don't have.

but I NEED a decent kitchen.

Yes, lot's of people love cooking and are good at it, but pursuing that pleasure comes at the cost of societal inefficiencies, both economic and green.
Posted by seandr on November 26, 2012 at 10:23 AM · Report this
sikandro 20
In my opinion, the problem is that rent on small units isn't low enough for it to be desirable, or even really competitive. The two apartments I've lived in on Capitol Hill have been two bedroom apartments for 1000 and 1200 per month. When I can get that type of price, and split it living with others, it isn't saving me money to live alone in a studio for 900+.
Posted by sikandro on November 26, 2012 at 10:25 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 21
Little Joe never once gave it away...

Lylah Tiffany
SRO (Single Room Occupancy)
Columbus Hotel, West 83rd Street, New York City, December 1970

New York City - 1969-70

http://www.flickr.com/photos/laurencesal…
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on November 26, 2012 at 10:33 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 22

Vanishing New York (or rather reappearing)!

The "apodments" of the 1970s

There's a reason Taxi Driver's whorehouse SRO is on 13th and 3rd--but the stroll didn't stop after the 1970s...

http://vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com/201…

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on November 26, 2012 at 10:36 AM · Report this
thelyamhound 23
As a personal trainer, I tend to find that the people who struggle most with diet are the ones who are least comfortable with cooking for themselves, or least able to make the time to do so. Eating out constantly doesn't tend to do the diet any favors.

The solution may be better restaurants with a wider variety of vegetables and more ways of preparing food . . . but then, we could say that about everything: that living wholly in the public sphere would be wonderful in a world where the public sphere is healthier and more affordable than that which we currently have at hand. I'm obviously all for people exercising in public spaces; my livelihood comes therefrom. Then again, I couldn't possibly afford me (and I'm cheap!); I can't even afford a gym membership, and am lucky to have one essentially bequeathed upon me for having gotten the right certification. Would rent on these micro-apartments go down considerably in the absence of kitchens and such, or would incomes have to rise to deal with the increased expense of replacing home workouts with gym time, hours at the public pool, or fitness classes; the replacement of home theater systems with more time at the theater or cinema; the $30 bottle of whiskey with the $10 shot of whiskey?

My wife and I live (and run two businesses) out of an 850-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment. And we're mostly fine with that. Anything smaller than that, and we'd basically need to triple our income to accommodate the work space we'd have to rent, the meals we'd have to eat out, and the various services we'd have to pay for that we can currently provide for ourselves.

A question (that I may yet live to regret asking): Did it occur to you, at any point in your thinking, that the obstacle might not be "structure of feeling," but lack of infrastructure and a capitalistic model in which most public spaces and services are essentially for rent--a city, indeed a nation, where to have or to do anything outside of the home requires the payment of various fees?
More...
Posted by thelyamhound http://thebayinghound.blogspot.com on November 26, 2012 at 10:42 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 24
What is the square footage of the unattached single family home you live in Charles?

Just wondering.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on November 26, 2012 at 10:48 AM · Report this
25
@19
Where in NYC are you finding "great food for cheap"?
Posted by Senor Guy on November 26, 2012 at 10:52 AM · Report this
26
I'm more enthusiastic about the prospect of a lethal global pandemic that would cut human population by half than I am about the prospect of everyone having to live in micropods. It would be better for the planet, it would be better for human quality of life, and it would reset the balance of power between labor and rent-seekers -- including the owners of residential real estate.
Posted by PCM on November 26, 2012 at 11:00 AM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 27
Fucking hell. My archery, dance and astronomy toys alone live in 125 sq. ft. My kayaking gear MINUS the boats would take up two of these.

Yes, I am unsustainable!
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on November 26, 2012 at 11:02 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 28
consider NYC, where you can get great food for cheap


And then you can drop dead of a heart attack at the age of 50. Ever wonder what that great food for "cheap" consists of?

The huge increase in regular, reliable diners would create an economy of scale for restaurants that would bring menu prices down (consider NYC, where you can get great food for cheap). The food distribution network would also become much more efficient and, therefore, cheaper - consider the time and money wasted by everyone driving to the grocery store and cooking vs restaurants buying and preparing food in bulk.


You are on crack. Labor in this country is extremely expensive; it's expensive in any part of the world where microliving is feasible/necessary. The labor costs of preparing food for diners would vastly outweigh any cost savings of economies of scale.

And, have you considered what you're advocating? Every restaurant would need to be huge to accomplish any serious cost savings. Ever been out to eat at a huge restaurant? Huge restaurants are, by definition, fucking awful, making incredibly unhealthy, bad tasting food. For example: Guy Fieri's new monstrosity in Times Square.

The only way you'd get significant cost savings is by embracing the McDonald's model of frozen, pink slime hamburger patties. Who wouldn't want to live that way?

And the idea that everyone eating out would be greener is insane. Have you ever worked at a restaurant? Hell, have you ever walked by a restaurant's dumpster? Restaurants are incredibly wasteful and inefficient.
Posted by keshmeshi on November 26, 2012 at 11:19 AM · Report this
Simone 29
As others have already said cooking at home is much more healthier than eating out and can cost much less overtime. I've learned by myself and through my father who is a cooks to live not lives to cook kind of person.

@7, Been to ikea and love to imagine that I am living in those small ikea rooms. I think those small rooms benefit greatly from a small bathroom and a small kitchen. I don't think I could stand a huge kitchen.
Posted by Simone on November 26, 2012 at 11:25 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 30
That couple lives the way they do because they have the money to live that way. It's an indulgence, not a thrift. (Good thing they aren't inflicting their choices on kids, like an urban version of Harrison Ford's character in The Mosquito Coast.)

Also, it's prejudicial against introverts and their need for a home in which one can relax and stretch out. But even most extroverts need to do this from time to time, and not feel like a sardine when they do. Let's check back with these people in five years. If they're still living this way, then give it another five. And so on. If they aren't still living this way when they're 75, they will prove that this is a bad way for people to live.

Also, Rob in Baltimore is right. It isn't just Charles; Dan also preaches the gospel of density from the comfort of a single family dwelling. Goldy lives in a house, too, although I can't recall him specifically thumping that bible here. He has dinged lawns, though, but later admitted to having enough grass that it requires mowing. They ALL preach a lifestyle to which they don't fully subscribe.
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 26, 2012 at 11:46 AM · Report this
31
Co-housing wasn't for me. I like the idea of it but, at least initially, they seem to require meetings. Lots of meetings. Long ones, with enough people to require Roberts Rules of Order....maybe colored cards and a speaking stick.

Throw in that the Seattle Process (always thought that misnamed) is considered the norm and I just don't have the patience....but that's just me.

Posted by david on November 26, 2012 at 11:48 AM · Report this
32
Charles is essentially arguing that we should all become more like Thoreau, who live in a 10X15 foot cottage at Walden Pond and extolled its virtues.

What people forget is that Walden was not a permanent life change for Thoreau. It was, in Thoreau's own word, an "experiment," and it lasted a bare two years. In essence, it was an extended camping trip.

I agree that many of us could live very happily with less. I even agree that our current patterns of housing and land development are extremely wasteful. However, micro-living is basically only a workable solution for singles or childless couples, and I suspect that most of those, in the long term, will prefer more than 175 square feet. I'm all in favor of micro-housing for those who want it. I do not, however, think it's a one-size-fits-all solution, and that is what Charles seems to suggest. As several Sloggers have pointed out, it's not even a model that Charles himself has been willing to adopt.
Posted by Clayton on November 26, 2012 at 11:48 AM · Report this
McJulie 33
Charles, did you read that article and observe all the weird accomodations they have to make? Like jogging to work and picking up their work clothes along the way from various dry cleaners? And a lot of people would find it a major hardship not to be able to cook or have friends over. Also, to survive in such a small space without it becoming as cluttered as a hoarder's garage, you have to be rigorously well-organized and disciplined, as well as unsentimental (no keepsakes) and not fond of things like books or art. You can't have any hobbies that take place inside the home, and you probably can't use your home as a center for your freelance business.

Micro-living is kind of interesting as an exercise, but the majority of people are never going to see it as anything but a hardship to be endured -- either because they have literally no other choice, or because (as is the case with this couple) it is the only way they can get other things they want.
Posted by McJulie on November 26, 2012 at 11:51 AM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 34
Supreme Ruler alludes to NYC and the SRO hotels. Seattle also had a large number of these, until a series of events, beginning with the construction of I-5, and continuing through the real estate boom of the 9-'s, pretty much killed them off.

The fatal blow was, of course, the Ozark Hotel fire in 1970. That lead to sweeping changes in the Seattle building codes pertaining to fire protection. To this day, there are buildings, mostly in Chinatown, that have upper floors that are abandoned because of these changes.

The Frye Hotel is a good example of a traditional SRO, but it is run by a foundation now, and eligibility for occupancy is based on income. A true SRO took anyone in. You just had to pay the rent and keep your nose clean.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay http://www.danlangdon.com on November 26, 2012 at 11:56 AM · Report this
35
I see the Agenda 21 crowd are squawking again.

http://occupycorporatism.com/agenda-21-m…
Posted by Spindles on November 26, 2012 at 12:03 PM · Report this
thene 36
#19 - eating out IS a norm. Iirc two-thirds of all meals in America are made at home; the rest are all eaten out. I don't know of any evidence that more people eating out in the last thirty years has led to a general reduction in the cost of eating out, at least if you're talking about eating well rather than eating fast food (which is still markedly more expensive than eating equivalent amounts at home, and that's without factoring in the health impact.) And a reoriented economy might not help because wise shoppers are already getting their fresh ingredients from the same places restaurants get theirs - wholesalers, big urban markets and big ethnic groceries. (Mainstream supermarkets are a shitty place to buy fresh food). Restaurants are a low-margin business - I don't see how they could ever get cheaper enough to undercut a competent home cook.

Time and will, as you say - I learned to cook when there was literally no other option. It's always the best option in our current economy, but for many living situations the path of least resistance goes in another direction, hence the one-third of meals that aren't home-cooked, and all the processed/pre-prepared food that is counted as home-cooked but actually isn't (and is more expensive & less healthy than food assembled from scratch).

Personally I don't derive enjoyment from the act of cooking, only from the results. It's like spending half an hour walking to someplace you want to go. It's a totally banal use of time, but getting to the end of it is totally worth it. I find I start to miss eating my own food if I'm away from home, even if I'm eating well elsewhere. Like this whole topic, I think it becomes a control/safety/comfort aspect of one's domestic life and that's the kind of reason these posts stir up strong opinions among people. I feel about my kitchen the way a lot of people feel about their bicycles, I guess - like liberty and a comfortable lifestyle absolutely depend on having it.
More...
Posted by thene http://thene.dreamwidth.org on November 26, 2012 at 12:03 PM · Report this
37
SROs don't suck because they're SROs. They suck because they rent for so little and attract people who can't do better.

There remain a few SROs on or near Capitol Hill. I believe the most famous is 1811 Eastlake Avenue East. After an afternoon there, the common kitchens / bathrooms won't make your list of top ten living-situation problems.

Group homes and co-ops tend to avoid SRO problems (no one leaves their shit and blood on the middle of the common bathroom floor in a co-op) while maximizing space efficiency.

All of these arrangements suck for the old, the diseased, the mentally abnormal. Imagine a hoarder or cat collector living in your group home.
Posted by six shooter on November 26, 2012 at 12:07 PM · Report this
38
@34 -- upvote for mentioning the Ozark Fire!

Members of the Seattle fire department to this day practice the Ozark Drill -- raise every ladder you can find and start every gasoline powered tool you have in under ten minutes.

http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?Dis…

I lived for about two minutes in the SRO (still in operation) on the 1700 block of Slummit Avenue. You can still get a place there without a section 8 voucher if you really want to get down Lou Reed style.

Buy me a cocktail and I'll tell you about the 80 year old prostitute who left her door open all day every Sunday and may or may not have been a ghost.
Posted by six shooter on November 26, 2012 at 12:14 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 39
I find I start to miss eating my own food if I'm away from home


It's getting to the point where I often think to myself "I could have made that better" when eating out, and I flat-out won't eat certain things away from home because too many places make those things crappily. Scrambled eggs, omelets, and bacon are at the top of that list. Too many restaurants serve up crumbly, dry eggs and hard-as-a-rock bacon.
Posted by keshmeshi on November 26, 2012 at 12:28 PM · Report this
40
@39 -- The ability to make perfect bacon is almost a dowry.

(if you've had bacon made in the South, that is)
Posted by six shooter on November 26, 2012 at 12:33 PM · Report this
thene 41
#23 - the sad part is that the most important aspects of eating for good health are often the cheapest parts. There's so many kinds of veg you can get for under a dollar per pound. Red meat is both more expensive and less healthy than most other protein sources. Tapwater is absolutely the cheapestthing you can drink and also the healthiest (except maybe unsweetened green tea, which is only a few cents per cup). There's a lot of healthy, cheap ways to flavour food, too - spices purchased in bulk, fresh garlic or chilies (they're a cent each, for pete's sake). Eating out could be healthier without being costlier but that's not what people demand of it, so it doesn't happen. We have to wade through a lot of lowest-common-denominator instead.
Posted by thene http://thene.dreamwidth.org on November 26, 2012 at 12:36 PM · Report this
very bad homo 42
I love the tiny space, but sharing it with someone else? They're going to get sick of each other!
Posted by very bad homo on November 26, 2012 at 12:51 PM · Report this
43
This will be a shocking suggestion to Charles, and perhaps some slow sloggers, but how about to each, their own? having spent my adult years in Tokyo, SF, and now NYC I'm very well acquainted with the concept and reality of micro-living quarters, and for me it works out great (as well as the financial reality that I'm not a trust fund / banker / richie rich guy but love living in expensive city centers). But other people should also live as they see fit as they do (duh). If Charles simply stated that it'd be good to ensure that there's diversity of living options of various sizes, amenities, locations, price points, etc., then of course that would make sense. But posts that make sense, and Charles, don't usually go together..
Posted by freshnycman on November 26, 2012 at 1:03 PM · Report this
Mycelium 44
I lived in a 11'x11' apartment for a year. Cooking meals without a real stove/oven/kitchen sink, needing to rearrange everything you own just to do a craft or construction project, stumbling over the sewing machine, desk chair, and printer en route to bed, not having room for a garden or decent house plants, cooking a garlicky dish and scenting all of your clean laundry accordingly... it gets old pretty quick. Micro-living is fine if all of your hobbies are social and you've got the dough to eat out every day, not so fine for the crafty introvert.
Posted by Mycelium on November 26, 2012 at 1:17 PM · Report this
45
Charles, Take your one size fits all, everyone must be identical automaton's, forced imprisonment with strangers and shove it up your ass. That is, assuming there's any room next to your head.

I'm all for micro living as an option for people but it absolutely can not work for a lot of the human population. Even if you ignore the incredible expense, both financial and health, of eating out every meal of the day, not to mention the difficulty of servicing some people's dietary requirements, some people can't and shouldn't live like that. I do a pretty damn good job of being sustainable in my home even at 2000 Sq ft. With the bus getting me to and from work most days and subsisting primarily off my garden through most of the summer and some of the winter I can say you don't need to cram yourself into a single room with inches between you and your neighbors to be sustainable.

So, by all means suggest this as an option. Encourage buildings that allow for it. Preach the gospel of micro living to your hearts desire. Once you suggest that everyone should live like this (even while you undoubtedly do not) you can go fuck yourself.
Posted by Root on November 27, 2012 at 6:51 AM · Report this
46
"The new feeling: The less private space you have means the more human you are."

I'd like to know who set the definition, and when it was ratified by Congress. Some of us like to demonstrate our humanity by having regular gatherings of family and friends in our homes. Some of us also like to demonstrate our humanity by offering temporary living space to others, either as a special treat, or on an emergency basis. When Hurricane Katrina came along, I had, 13 people and nine dogs with me. Not possible in 175 feet.
Posted by Clayton on November 29, 2012 at 7:54 AM · Report this

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