Remember Ori, the mechanized transforming apartment system designed in a collaboration between Yves Béhar and MIT Media Lab? It caused a stir (okay, a design blog stir) when the concept debuted in 2016, and we gave them a Core77 Design Award in 2017. But selling an entire apartment system is a tall order, and now the company is marketing individual components as standalones; if we had to guess, this is to make market uptake easier.
First up is the Ori Pocket Closet, a sort of collapsible walk-in closet with a form factor that will be familiar to librarians and archivists:
1. One potential issue is with installing that floor strip along the wall; from the variety of apartments I’ve lived in and visited (in New York City at least), very few had perfectly level floors.
2. Another potential problem: There’s a niggling safety feature that prevents you from “accidentally” crushing your roommate inside the closet after they’ve won your latest passive-aggressive Post-It note battle.
Ori has also posted a standalone video of their Cloud Bed, which is pretty stunning in its effect:
1. That’s pretty nifty.
2. I don’t know if you caught it, but the back support for the couch actually doubles as the headboard for the bed. I realize I’m in the minority here, but I don’t like the idea of sleeping with my head near a surface that has indirectly come into contact with subway, bus and taxi seats.
3. I’d raise the question of apartments that lack perfectly plumb walls, but I suppose the installer could shim the supports.
4. I’d also be uneasy about attaching this to a partition wall, particularly in a city like New York where landlords often play fast-‘n-loose with regulations (i.e. 1/2″ sheetrock on studs that are a lousy 24″ on center).
In any case, I don’t mean to sound like a negative Nellie; Ori’s furniture system is a wonderful idea that solves the persistent issue of urban living space, if you make enough to afford the pieces.
The Pocket Closet will start shipping in Spring 2019, with prices starting at $2,650, plus $299 shipping; installation is free. Prices and an official launch date for the Cloud Bed have not yet been announced, but you can keep abreast of the situation here.