Forums > Social Discussion > A rant about Micro-apartments (beware)

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Now I watched one of my favourite TV-programmes this morning ("Discovery-Channel") and I come across this image (sorry can't provide one here at the moment) of Mini-cubicles.

A reporterette was showing this awful, eek Micro apartment and had a big fat smile on her face all the time, trying to seel this as THE most desirable solution to housing problems found ever! bluargh!!!!!!!

I saw the image of a few cubicles (carrying the "O2" image (a cellphone company) allover) - each measuring 2.65m x 2.65m (for all the fractionists, that is 104.33 inches!!!)

In this cubicle you find "everything": A bathroom, a toilet, a kitchen, a flatscreen TV (one bit of "freedom"), a microwave and stove, 2 garbagebins (to seperate and recycle the trash!!!), a main bed and the opportunity to convert the table and seats to a second bed (if you're having guests who sleep in that is - most certainly you'd be able to celebrate an orgy in there)... Ach and I forgot to mention: they are all airconditioned (not sure, whether one could open the window anyways)...

And to topple all this I had to learn that this project (everybody seems so satisfied with) was founded in Munich (my hometown)! You heard right, not Tokio, Munich/ Germany.

This is regarded as THE TOPLEVEL solution for the current housing problem we're facing in Munich - especially for students!

At first I was unsure, whether to throw up, or freak out and simply decided to meditate upon it. It became obvious - to me - that with growing population, space is getting rare and housing is expensive (the cubicle costs about 100 bucks, opposing 4-600 for a regular apartment in the area)

Now I would like to ask you:
Do you agree that we have by far not enough space and money to afford "aedequate" housing - which makes projects like this inevitable?
or
Do you agree, that this is one of the most outrageous cases of abuse of humans in need?

Would you feel comfy in such environment (in Germany we have bad weather conditions 3/4 of the year, which sometimes make it merely impossible to sit outside and read a book) and would you also consider this your "dreamhouse"?

I mean, put wheels under it, an engine and wooops! you have a motorhome (in which you are not permitted to live inside a (German) city and which is no legitimate address)....

To give you a brief, visual impression

click here....

------------------------------------------------------------
Agrees once more with dream: The idiots are winning....


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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TheBovrilMonkey
TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England
Member Since: 3rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 2629
Posted:Really, I don't see the problem with these things.

I spent three years at uni living in a 2.25m x 2.25m room - it was pretty cramped but not incredably oppresive and certainly not developed in a way to maximise useable space the way these cubes are.

The rent's pretty damned cheap too. I'm fairly sure they're cheaper than paying to sleep in a hostel when it's too cold to sleep in a doorway, and a damn sight more comfortable and well furnished too.

To be honest, the main feeling I'm getting from reading this thread is that FireTom isn't fond of living somewhere cold and likes the idea of lots of space.
While that's all well and good, lots of people end up living where they can, rather than where they'd like.


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted: Written by: TheBovrilMonkey


Really, I don't see the problem with these things.

I spent three years at uni living in a 2.25m x 2.25m room - it was pretty cramped but not incredably oppresive and certainly not developed in a way to maximise useable space the way these cubes are.





May I ask, was your toilet, shower, stove, oven, microwave, fridge, dining table and chairs as well as bed and stuff all in there? Most dorm rooms I've lived in don't allow/have alot of those things in them. So I see it as much different spacially speaking.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:You take the words outta my mouth Pele smile

Bovril, you're absolutely right with your assumption that I like the idea of space, as in "enough of it" - as with the temperature... no. Right before I left Germany this year I was - again - walking down the road and inhaled that crisp, fresh, clean, cold air, watched the leaves change color and L.O.V.E.D. it - I'm certain I can survive winter in Munich. But I need enough space in order to do things - I need to be able to move.

Certainly this is not so with everybody. Some are just fine, if they can sit in front of the computer all day - I need space and think that people get crippled in those cubicles.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted:Well as I said before, when I studied I spent every day at uni, 8 am to 5 pm or sometimes 8 pm, just for courses, and that's without going to the library to study. In the evenings, there were sometimes lectures (7-9), or I'd do stuff with my friends whenever I wasn't studying.

For someone like me it wouldn't have been all that bad. For a humanities student with 3 sets of 4 hours of courses per week I suppose it would've been worse (don't rant I KNOW there's humanities students that do lots of work, too... just at my uni there was quite a big imbalance between the times one actually had to spend at uni).

Looking at all the people that live in trailers, smallish boats or tents permanently I'm convinced they wouldn't mind the idea quite that much. It's what we're already used to that makes us think it's way too small.


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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Groovy_Dream
Groovy_Dream

addict

Member Since: 26th May 2005
Total posts: 449
Posted: Written by: FireTom



Now I watched one of my favourite TV-programmes this morning ("Discovery-Channel") and I come across this image (sorry can't provide one here at the moment) of Mini-cubicles.



A reporterette was showing this awful, eek Micro apartment and had a big fat smile on her face all the time, trying to seel this as THE most desirable solution to housing problems found ever! bluargh!!!!!!!



I saw the image of a few cubicles (carrying the "O2" image (a cellphone company) allover) - each measuring 2.65m x 2.65m (for all the fractionists, that is 104.33 inches!!!)



In this cubicle you find "everything": A bathroom, a toilet, a kitchen, a flatscreen TV (one bit of "freedom"), a microwave and stove, 2 garbagebins (to seperate and recycle the trash!!!), a main bed and the opportunity to convert the table and seats to a second bed (if you're having guests who sleep in that is - most certainly you'd be able to celebrate an orgy in there)... Ach and I forgot to mention: they are all airconditioned (not sure, whether one could open the window anyways)...



And to topple all this I had to learn that this project (everybody seems so satisfied with) was founded in Munich (my hometown)! You heard right, not Tokio, Munich/ Germany.



This is regarded as THE TOPLEVEL solution for the current housing problem we're facing in Munich - especially for students!



At first I was unsure, whether to throw up, or freak out and simply decided to meditate upon it. It became obvious - to me - that with growing population, space is getting rare and housing is expensive (the cubicle costs about 100 bucks, opposing 4-600 for a regular apartment in the area)



Now I would like to ask you:

Do you agree that we have by far not enough space and money to afford "aedequate" housing - which makes projects like this inevitable?

or

Do you agree, that this is one of the most outrageous cases of abuse of humans in need?



Would you feel comfy in such environment (in Germany we have bad weather conditions 3/4 of the year, which sometimes make it merely impossible to sit outside and read a book) and would you also consider this your "dreamhouse"?



I mean, put wheels under it, an engine and wooops! you have a motorhome (in which you are not permitted to live inside a (German) city and which is no legitimate address)....



To give you a brief, visual impression



click here....



------------------------------------------------------------

Agrees once more with dream: The idiots are winning....





It really depends on what you want to do. If you want to have people round then its not an option. But a lot of people, especially students, spend all their time on their computer in which case physical space isn't important.


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Groovy_Dream
Groovy_Dream

addict

Member Since: 26th May 2005
Total posts: 449
Posted: Written by: FireTom



I find it disgusting. Period. I also find the living conditions in Tokyo, Hong Kong and other metros disgusting, where entire families have to reside in a one-bedroom apartment.



It's greed, greed it is and not more or less.







It's not greed. It isn't the developers' fault that half the world can't figure out how to use a condom. Try to look at the root of the problem here: overpopulation.



 Written by: FireTom



It's not as if anyone would be "forced" to live in such a cubicle... but Munich (for example) has one of - if not THE highest levels of rent/ sqare metres in Germany, going up to 25 Euros/ sqm.





Germany also has a population density of 232 people per sq km. By contrast, Australia has a population density 2.6 per sq km.



 Written by: FireTom



In Germany - to rule out the argument of birth control - we have a stagnating and overaging population. I am almost certain that living under these conditions will not stimulate the people to start a family, but vice versa.







Sounds like that's exactly what Germany needs.


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oli
not with cactus
Location: bristol/ southern eastern devo...
Member Since: 24th Jul 2003
Total posts: 2052
Posted:i dont like the idea of these things... specically the thought that one day there wont be any other options left and well all have our own little box assigned to us and that willl be where we live... how convienient is that for control purposes? however that is a long way off and a bit specultive, but ive been reading science fiction ubbloco

Me train running low on soul coal
They push+pull tactics are driving me loco
They shouldn't do that no no no

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Rozi
100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 11th Jan 2002
Total posts: 2996
Posted: Written by: FireTom


Rozi, how can I inform exactly what the councils policy about this is? I'm no member of it... smile

If you follow the link Spanner provided on the first page, you get detailled information of the developer, along with FAQ's.

There is a project running at the Technical University (TU) in Munich with 6 units. So far it has not been expanded. The purpose of the design is intended for "student and social housing", but - so far - the plan has not been seriously adapted by the council.

Excuse me, I'm dead tired at the moment and can't straighten my thoughts as to comply with your query...



I guess I am saying to you that unless the full circumstance should be understood before entering into this discussion. A number of the points you have made thus far are not supported by any of the materials referenced. I don't doubt that you believe strongly in what you are saying, and that the points made are valid if and only if the assumptions you are making about the purpose of the housing are correct.

Please show me where it has been stated that this is intended as more than short term accommodation (as stated many times on the various websites).

I would accept that high rental rates could force people to use it in the longer term, but the council may have in place policies that prevent it being used in this way. That is why I want more information, and do not simply want to leap to conclusions and aggressively oppose what may be a good idea.

Finally, I would choose to use this accommodation but only in the way it was intended, as short term accommodation. You maybe wouldn't choose to. Unless you can present evidence to the contrary, this debate is about choice. And I should have just as much right to choose to live in such accommodation as you have not to live in it.


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:@Rozi: in no way I would keep you from living there and even raise your children. At your disposal wink I doubt that the council would prevent you from using it long term, as long as they do not have feasible alternatives.

I'm not intending to start an argument with you, pls - but I'm not noticing any recommendation of teh developer NOT to use it as a long term solution. Why would they do negative advertisement IF it's obvious you shouldn't? They're only stating that all 6 experimental tenants have "begged" to endure their stay... rolleyes

So far (!) this debate is about "choice" - whereas (if this project was to be pushed to a big scale) "choice" is the wrong term, in the face of extremely high rents in Munich.

@ Psyrush: You can't compare Australia and Germany (at this point), it's like apples and watermelons. The problem with an overageing population is a bit deeper than you may think.

We need MORE children, MORE teenagers and MORE "young adults" because the social system is seriously braking down.

Actually
24% of the population is over 60 (retirement starts at aprox 61)
55% of the population is 20 - 59
20% of the population is under 19

In 2030 (far away from today) it predicted that
36% is over 60
47% is 20 - 59
16% is under 19

Do you get the point? Our retirement plan is depending on people working. It's a misconception that one pays into the retirement fund and this money is put into the drawer - gets paid back (with interest).

Now I do not want to drift off much more, but you may add to this the problem of rising unemployment - and you may be able to see the desaster coming up. WE DO NEED MORE CHILDREN AND WORKFORCE in Germany! Dunno about the current situation in Australia, you may be better off, because so many want to come to your country + you have a very diffent migration policy ((de facto) relationship, desired jobs or 500.000 Dollars in a fund for at least 3 years), topple that with your (current) resources and vast farmland (exploited and driven against the wall).. and you know why you're not facing that much of a problem right now.

In Germany we know much too well "how to use a condom" and whilst you defend the developers lack of interest, you're not recognising what we are really dealing with here (in the "old world")... I hope you will never have to experience it to the fullest extent, but you are already facing the problem in Australia too. Demand and an artificially regulated market.

{ever played "Sim City"?)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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TheBovrilMonkey
TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England
Member Since: 3rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 2629
Posted: Written by: Pele





May I ask, was your toilet, shower, stove, oven, microwave, fridge, dining table and chairs as well as bed and stuff all in there? Most dorm rooms I've lived in don't allow/have alot of those things in them. So I see it as much different spacially speaking.





I didn't have an oven, microwave or fridge. I did have everything else in that list. They can fit in a pretty small space when planned properly though.

I know a few other universities around the uk that have pretty much all of that stuff in their rooms too. However, they're generally very expensive to live in.



They may not fit everyone's taste, but given the choice of either a hostel, a doorway or a cube, I'd certainly take the cube.

I'd much prefer an unused warehouse converted into flats and a communal open space, though I'm not sure if the cost of doing that would be more per flat than a stack of cubes.


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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Rozi
100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 11th Jan 2002
Total posts: 2996
Posted: Written by: FireTom


@Rozi: in no way I would keep you from living there and even raise your children. At your disposal wink I doubt that the council would prevent you from using it long term, as long as they do not have feasible alternatives.

I'm not intending to start an argument with you, pls - but I'm not noticing any recommendation of teh developer NOT to use it as a long term solution. Why would they do negative advertisement IF it's obvious you shouldn't? They're only stating that all 6 experimental tenants have "begged" to endure their stay... rolleyes

So far (!) this debate is about "choice" - whereas (if this project was to be pushed to a big scale) "choice" is the wrong term, in the face of extremely high rents in Munich.


...Do you get the point?



To put it simply, "no I do not get the point that you are making". I am sure it is a good point, and an important point, but you are not making it in such a way that it is clear and supported by evidence.

So far you have:

- Stated that anyone can choose whether they would like to stay in this place, and yet you have continuously challenged those who said that they would (see your discussion with Jeff, Stout and Birgit). Btw, you misunderstood my post where I stated that I would be happy to use this accommodation as it was intended, as a short term stay only.

- Presented this as though both the council and the developer intend that people should stay in it long term. When I asked you to show me where that was stated (as I had only found references on the developers website that said it was for "short term stays") you did not and stated you had no way of knowing what the council's intent was.

- Presented a lot of information about the economic circumstances in Germany, stating that they cannot be compared to other countries. You have used these economic circumstances to argue that people will have no choice but to live in this type of accommodation in the long term. Also to argue that the council and the government is using such accommodation to force people into a life which involves continual work, in order to support the ageing population. This last point is a reasoned argument, however you have not presented evidence to support what you are asserting is the approach of the government and council. Admittedly it would be hard to prove, however by not presenting the evidence, it does just come across as one big conspiracy theory.

I would suggest that if this is what you truly believe, then you should start trying to prove it with something concrete. Then maybe you will have a chance of getting the word out in mainstream media and changing what is occurring.


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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Groovy_Dream
Groovy_Dream

addict

Member Since: 26th May 2005
Total posts: 449
Posted:Just out of interest, do you know what sort of views these cubicles have? A nice view would make all the difference.

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Get your point, Rozi.



I'm not a supporter of "conspiracy theories" in terms of govt and industry consciously and purposefully forcing "us" in some kind of slavery (even though I admit it's hard to resist that idea - looking at the evidence in terms of the present situation and development).



When looking at the housing situation (in urban areas all over the globe) you will certainly notice how there are more people crammed in smaller places/ buildings. The available space declines in average. In width and clearance. Along with that the average number of bedrooms declined.



Fact or not? Maybe the problem is not becoming so obvious in Australia at the moment, where the population of my state (Bavaria) alone is spread over the area of a continent, the size of North America (where currently 300 Million reside, with still loads of undeveloped area).



I put the headline "Micro-apartments (beware)" on top of this thread, as I notice a development that might lead to a situation like in Tokyo or Hong Kong. People there are living under such conditions LONG TERM - I'd violently dislike seeing this development being put on the West, too.



Once you have created a reality in which such housing is regarded appropriate/ acceptable by the majority of people, next comes an implementation phase. So all I am suggesting is to "be aware"...



Fact is that in the middle of and at the end of the 19th century workers have fought vigorously to improve the incredibly low living standards in Europe. Now we're facing the situation of globalisation and the development of third world countries. If you have travelled a bit, you may be aware that the general living conditions really are a joke there and easily to compare with European standards in the 1800s. Yet Aseans (and this is a vast generalisation now, I'm well aware) are (for the moment) more likely to accept the situation as it is and to bend their lifestyle around the circumstances.



This means in order to compete, Europeans will have to significantly lower their standards of living, or face a serious economic decline and this developemt can be observed right now. Maybe this is a consolidation phase only, but I'm not ready to draw against that. Especially since the necessary reforms are not even remotely in sight.



Did I make myself a little clearer to you now, or do you expect me to prepare an entire lecture (with statistics and graphs) in order to provide sufficient evidence? I'm certain that students who study politics, economics and sociology will be able to word this much clearer than I am able to.



@ psyrush: Currently the "O2 village" with 6 units, is placed in the backyard of the Technical University in Munich - believe me, there is nothing that I would look at as in "a freat view", but neo-classicistical architechture and a few trees.

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1161664410)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Rozi
100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 11th Jan 2002
Total posts: 2996
Posted: Written by: FireTom


Did I make myself a little clearer to you now, or do you expect me to prepare an entire lecture (with statistics and graphs) in order to provide sufficient evidence? I'm certain that students who study politics, economics and sociology will be able to word this much clearer than I am able to.




You know what? You did just make yourself a whole lot clearer to me. And I do think that you should prepare an entire lecture on it with stats and all the rest. You know why? Because you care about this.

Make it clear and make a change, man. You don't have to be a student or an academic in the field to make people care about this, you just have to be succinct and prove it to people.


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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Firetramp
Firetramp

old hand
Location: Binstead, Isle of Wight
Member Since: 5th Sep 2005
Total posts: 896
Posted:If I were a student with not much money, I'd like to live in one of those. I think they're cute and much more comfortable than the tiny boat I lived on last year. At the moment, I'm living in a studioflat with my baby. Fold in/out bed and table, camping chairs...

It's ok for a while. And those cubes are also to live in temporarily, I assume.


Ask a question and be a fool for a minute...don't ask and be a fool your whole life.

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