Living space has become scarce and therefore expensive. Especially in large cities, space is becoming a luxury. But to ensure that city dwellers don’t have to forego comfort in a living space of 28 square metres, MIT Media Lab and the Swiss designer Yves Béhar have developed the Ori robotic furniture system, which can be transformed from a living room into a bedroom or a home office at the touch of a button.
Named after the Japanese folding art of origami, Ori makes it possible to live in a single, mobile, modular unit. The furniture system consists of a huge cupboard that can be adapted for different purposes. At the push of a button, the living room can be converted into a home office or bedroom. Ori is made of light or dark poplar plywood and is available in two different modular versions. Both include a bed, a workstation, drawers, a cupboard and storage space. The Queen model also features a sofa. The system can be extended on one or two sides, depending on requirements.
Ori is controlled using a control panel, an app, or voice commands to Alexa. For each room there is an integrated lighting system, settings for which can be saved. In this way, the lighting changes automatically when converting from bedroom to living room. If there is ever a power failure, Ori can also be manually configured because it is built on wheels.
Ori currently costs USD 10,000 per unit. The first 1,200 systems are already being installed in apartments in San Francisco, New York and Boston. Especially in large Asian cities such as Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai, where micro-living and unaffordable property costs have been a reality for many years, Ori is coming onto the market at a time when we need innovative approaches to meet the challenges of global urbanisation.