How does New York and Chicago cope with the large amount of people and
shortage of space through design and in particular improvised design?
Motivation for the research
With over 7 billion people in the world, rapid population growth and shortage
of space is a global issue. Living in a large space is not affordable or
sustainable for most people particularly in big cities. Industrial designers
should consider this to ensure living in a small space is comfortable affordable
and sustainable. For example public spaces such as parks, museums, library,
train stations need to be able to accommodate a large number of people
without compromising lifestyles.
This is not a new concept and people are beginning to pay attention to the
shortage of space due to the cost and sustainability. Even in Adelaide –
where there isn’t a rapid population growth, there is still innovative space
saving design – such as pop up bars in shipping containers, rooftop gardens
and mobile food vans. The obvious conclusion of this is that all design is
going to have to be considering space for the future, industrial design industry
is no exception.
Overall research question
How does New York and Chicago cope with the large amount of people and
shortage of space through design and in particular improvised design?
Living in Adelaide there isn’t a huge space problem, so it isn’t a focus for
industrial designers. I am very interested in researching what innovative
design methods design forward cities with big populations such as New York
and Chicago have to offer.
Research for this topic will involve visiting public spaces such as parks and
cafes to discover design opportunities by observing peoples behavior and
interaction with the environment and objects, paying particular attention to any
improvised design. I will also be observing existing space saving designs in
these environments as well as at a design firm. Through doing this I am
hoping to gain inspiration and ideas to design my own space saving product.
Anticipated results
I think in a design forward city, I will be impressed by clever space saving
design. I am hoping to find a problem that I can resolve as a designer, either
through someone’s improvised design or through my own. On a personal
level, I’m hoping to be inspired by a different culture, which will make me
consider our space issues in Australia and challenge me to find new,
innovative and sustainable design ideas for my future design career.
Firms redesigning space needs by Jonathon Sapers
A new methodology for evaluating sustainable product design
performance with two-stage network data envelopment analysis
Lets get small: Annals of design
Designing Interior Architecture: Concept, Typology, Material,
Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen
Sustainable style and substance
Collapsible – The Genius of Space-Saving Design – Per Mollerup
Space Saving Furniture – Living Comfortable in Small Spaces – Jair
A/B space saving furniture by kim myung hyun
High Density Living in Hong Kong
Chicago is expensive -
TED talks/videos:
Writer and designer Graham Hill asks: Can having less stuff, in less
room, lead to more happiness? He makes the case for taking up less
space, and lays out three rules for editing your life.
How can we fit more people into cities without overcrowding? Kent
Larson shows off folding cars, quick-change apartments and other
innovations that could make the city of the future work a lot like a small
village of the past.
A rich life with less stuff,
Places to visit:
New York
 Central Park
 The High Line park
 IDEO Design Consultancy
 Guggenheim Museum
 Museum of Modern Art (Exhibition: Young Artchitects program
 NYSID MFA Thesis & MPS Projects Exhibition
 Beyond Metal Gallery (
 Minimal Design Consultancy
 Meet up with Keiichi Sato (organizing at the moment) – Professor at
Institute of Design
 Institute of Design
 The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design
 Chicago Design Museum
I understand I have a lot of places listed to visit, so I am not expecting to visit
them all, but will try plan my itinerary around the ones I can. If Keiichi is
available for a meeting, that would be my main priority.

Hattie Culbertson NYC Chicago Research Proposal