In the Fall semester of 2015 and as part of the Allied Design Studio Healthy Living, MFA Interior Design students worked intensively with their peers in MFA Lighting Design and Master of Architecture at the beginning of the project to establish an understanding of the site, neighborhood and community in relation to human health.
Studio 3 focused on issues of health and affordability. The site, Carmel Place, is the recent and notable development by Monadnock Development team on 27th street between 1st and 2nd avenues in Manhattan. This development was a pilot study by New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) for micro housing to reflect the need for a new typology of housing adapting to the City’s changing demographics. The units are 260-360 sq ft of living space – with fourteen units designated as affordable, and an additional eight allocated to formerly homeless veterans. The building is currently the only all modular and all micro-unit building in New York City.
The students studied what constitutes a healthy community, home and individual through an understanding of the food we eat, the food cycle, the materials that surround us, the life cycle of materials and the impact of our exposure to unwanted toxics, all within the context of affordability.
Each student executed two design projects: an interior of a micro living unit and the interior of a public space. The public space, chosen by the students, lay either within the common space of the apartment building or in an adjacent grocery store designed by their peers in the Architecture and Lighting Design programs. We discussed that when people live in small spaces, a large percent of living occurs outside of the home, allowing the students to explore the future of housing in a city where the housing stock doesn’t match the current households. Students are asked to present these two projects in relation to one another with this idea as the driving factor.
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