This morning I stumbled upon 'the college dorm of the future' on Fast Company blog Co.EXIST. If you're like me and teach Visual Communication Design, these tiny wooden houses are an interesting talking/study point for students to explore. They're also interesting simply in terms of their design. Visit this link to read more about them. The elevation and floor plan views are also shown over at the blog, which would be quite handy for Unit 3 if you're a teacher of the subject.
While I'm not entirely sure that I'd like to live in them, I do think they're interesting from a design solution perspective, (they're cheap, sustainable and space efficient). One thing is for certain though, I'd much rather live in a tiny Swedish wooden box, rather than one of these tiny living spaces in Japan... Here are two images below, but make sure you check out the link for more info.
In terms of the way humans live in different spaces, also check out Kevin McCloud's 'Slumming It' I watched it on a flight back from Jakarta a few years ago and its really interesting viewing. "After 10 years celebrating homes in Britain, Kevin (host of Grand Designs) now experiences life in India's largest slum - Mumbai's Dharavi, made famous by the film Slumdog Millionaire, where disease is rife, water is contaminated and sanitation is basic. With one million people crammed into one square mile (2.6 square kilometres), Dharavi is one of Asia's biggest slums and one of the most densely populated places on the planet."
Dharavi slum in Mumbai, India. Photo courtesy of Swiss Dots Ltd. From The City Fix - Q&A with Gary Hustwit: Designing Cities