Curbed wrangles up "5 Homes That Take 'Micro Apartments' to the Country." Seal Beach, Calif. and Chatham, Mass. are just a couple of the locations of these petite properties currently for sale (some boasting not-so-petite price tags). 


TreeHugger would like to make a clarification: AC-loving New York City overlord Michael Bloomberg has not launched a "design competition" in search of innovative apartments measuring between 275- and 300-square-feet as everyone and their mother has been reporting (because NYC is in short supply of claustrophobia-inducing housing options, apparently). In reality, ADapt NYC is what is known as a "request for proposals." Lloyd Alter explains: "In other words, they [the city] are looking for experienced operators with deep pockets to pay a good price for the land, build a bunch of studio apartments and operate it. The architects and designers as usual will be minor annoyances."


Grist wonders if cohousing, a Denmark-borne housing concept in which “residents actively participate in the design and operation of their own neighborhoods," is indeed the hidden "secret to sustainable living." Claire Thompson singles out one rather formidable con working the stateside cohousing movement: "What sounds at first like a good way to save money — sharing play space, a group kitchen, etc. — is every bit as expensive as traditional housing, meaning that it’s out of reach for many people who could benefit from it."


CoDesign praises Heliotrope Architects' AIA Housing Award-winning North Beach Residence in Eastsound, Wash. as a "Dream Beach House for Eco-Freaks."


The Atlantic Cities turns its attention to London with a photographic peek at the Summer Olympic-hosting city's plethora of pocket-sized secret gardens. 


The New York Times compiles a list of downsized living accouterment in the wake of Michael Bloomberg's aforementioned micro apartment scheme. Janel Laban, executive editor of Apartment Therapy, imparts a bit of wisdom to the NYT: "What people have noticed is that it’s stressful to deal with a lot of things. Living more simply, as you’re forced to do in a small space, you can find that life is less stressful.” She adds: "You’re going to need less of everything. And while you might have people over, you’re not going to be having many sit-down dinner parties.”


Smart Planet dissects a recent survey that suggests that the rise of smart homes is a bit further off than the 2020 arrival date that's been anticipated by many (a shame for all those lonely smart appliances that have already hit the market). Concludes Joe McKendrick: "There’s still a lot of work to be done, and it will probably take more than a decade to get to the point where homes are successfully talking to utilities, and vice-versa."


Jetson Green takes a gander at an unfussy new prefab design from Austin-based ClearSpace Homes that's anticipated to cost in the ballpark of $125 per square foot with cost-increasing customization work included (foundation, site work, and shipping is not included). 


Inhabitat joins in on the micro apartment media madness with a look at "5 Super Efficient Tiny New York Apartments." 


The Wall Street Journal marvels at a $9 million Beverly Hills mansion with a full-on park in the backyard. Says owner Yuri Spiro: "'I always wanted to live in a park, but they don't sell parks — so I built one around it."




Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Playing catch up: Micro madness
Not a big shocker: In the wake of Michael Bloomberg announcing a push towards innovative pint-sized housing options in NYC, micro apartment-related news dominat