Compact Living Explored At One Room Mansion Exhibition



The One Room Mansion exhibition will explore compact living as a viable and necessary 21st–century dwelling option for people across all ages and incomes.

The exhibition explores the possibilities associated with individual living spaces grouped among generous communal amenities. This simple concept could provide an economical alternative to meeting the increasing demand for housing near transit, restaurants, and workplaces, as society transitions from a suburban, car-oriented lifestyle to an urban, low-carbon one. By paring down private living space for each individual while investing in shared space among residents, a single room can be transformed into an entire mansion.

Curated by Aeron Hodges AIA and A. Quinton Kerns, the exhibition will transform the upstairs galleries at BSA Space into a simulation of a co-living building with compact apartments connected by corridors. Practical living areas and innovative work, laundry, and storage space, as well as indoor and ‘outdoor’ common areas will be highlighted.

Visitors will be encouraged to explore some of the space-saving innovations that make smaller housing units feasible options for singles and small families. Informed by the history of urban housing in general, the exhibition will explore the lack of housing supply for small households today and will showcase current demographic, economic, and design research to present spiralling neighbourhood rental cost data specific to Boston.

By presenting this exhibition, we introduce new ideas into the discussion and invite the public to join the conversation.

“Equitably housing our citizens is one of the most profound challenges and opportunities of our time,” said Mike Davis FAIA, chair of the BSA Foundation. “By presenting this exhibition, we introduce new ideas into the discussion and invite the public to join the conversation.”

A self-described crusader for smaller housing, 2016 BSA president, Tamara Roy AIA, adds, “We are proud to be part of the design and presentation of prototypes that might actually help the city create new dwelling options for people of all incomes.”

In addition to an opening reception on December 8, a series of lectures and discussions, as well as kids and family workshops related to housing, will be hosted at BSA Space throughout the run of the exhibition.

One Room Mansion follows a year of Boston Society of Architects/AIA and BSA Foundation initiatives that have created actionable solutions to meet Boston’s current housing crisis. To read more about these initiatives, visit architects.org/news/housing-solutions-missing-middle.

Exhibition sponsors include Boston Modern Furniture (primary furniture supplier); Payne|Bouchier; Tuft & Needle; and Segis.

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters provided design and installation support.


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