'I Make Tiny Homes That Can Grow 33% Bigger'

By Hasier Larrea

One of the biggest challenges that comes with global mass urbanization is the lack of housing that is affordable. This was one of the issues I tried to tackle during my master's program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where, working under the guidance of Professor Kent Larson at the MIT Media Lab, my team and I explored ways to challenge a fundamental real estate paradigm: that to live better, you need more space.

We discussed how the rent that people pay is typically proportional to the amount of space that they need to live in: the bigger the apartment, the higher the rent. That's when we thought: Could we change people's perception of space? Could we prove that people don't need as much space as they think to live comfortably and functionally?

I led a team of MIT Media Lab engineers from 2011 to 2015 as we developed technology and robotics to "multiply" space. In 2015, we decided to bring these ideas from the laboratory into the world.

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