gary chang on urbanism and his metamorphic apartment
gary chang on urbanism and his metamorphic apartment gary chang on urbanism and his metamorphic apartment
jul 28, 2013

gary chang on urbanism and his metamorphic apartment

gary chang on urbanism and his metamorphic apartment
all images courtesy of edge design institute



designboom caught up with gary chang in milan, where he lectured at spazio fmg on the global phenomenon of necessarily compact domestic space as well as subsequently led a workshop centered on design responses to urban density. the founder of interdisciplinary practice edge design institute in hong kong answered questions about his lifelong endeavor of micro-space design. the designer and architect described his first formal project as a series of drawings wherein he imagined alleviating his cramped childhood apartment with an inter-unit bridge and expanded on how the dense population and spatial needs of hong kong have informed his work across scales. this early architectural activity has led that very apartment to become a  life-long laboratory for the experimentation and implementation of multi-tasking, often mechanical rooms. the 32 square meter metamorphic apartment sports walls that move on tracks to reveal myriad programs; among them, a rather large kitchen, guest bedroom, library, dining room, laundry room and, most luxuriously, a full spa. the consolidated space strikes a smart balance between time-tested, low-tech engeering in form of tracks, ball bearings and the like, with technologically advanced measures, like the ability to control most of the apartment from a smartphone. in the era where the largest number of people in the history of humanity are living in cities, gary chang talks about the far-reaching implications of design thinking for the future of human habitation:


‘I don’t mean this from an angle of eco-design, but somehow we touch on that by simple reduction. how big do you need a volume at different times? this is a very good example of flexibility in the sense of  blurring the boundary of public and private, or simply [architecture as] a device able to adapt for change. ‘



gary chang , founder of edge design institute, speaks about his childhood and the future of dense urbanism
video © designboom



since a shower is used so often, the design takes up more spatial ‘real estate’



walls of thousands of CDs move to reveal a spa bathtub



of view of hong kong density



(left): a couch with a murphy bed as a backboard
(right): view of the pulled-out bed



a living area becomes a kitchen



the apartment is shockingly open and flexible



diagram of the 24 configurations



floor plan



sketches reveal the configurable apartment as a life-long endeavor





image © designboom

  • Awesome man. Great idea. Elegant and useful. Love the hammock idea. Just saw the show and figured I would look you up.
    Inspiring. Love the sletches too.

    Conrad Hahn says:

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