Barcode Room: The Optimus Prime of apartments
By Dave Parrack
December 7, 2012
People living in cities are increasingly being squeezed into smaller and smaller apartments, a reality that is driving a search for new living space designs that can adapt, transform, and evolve as the needs of those residing in them dictate. Barcode Room from Japanese design company Studio_01 is an attempt at doing just that. At present it's nothing more than a concept, but Barcode Room could prove to be a good strategy for maximizing space while also tending to the needs of multiple residents.
The basis of Barcode Room is a set of three sliding walls (or bars) that can be moved around to form multiple configurations. By moving the walls into different positions, residents can customize the space to suit their particular needs at any particular time.
There are 12 types of walls, with the three chosen by and for the residents dictating the configurations available to them. The walls are attached to a ceiling rail and mounted on wheels, which means they can not only be installed in new apartments but in existing apartments as well.
Both the storage and furniture components are actually slotted into the walls, ready to be taken out and used as needed. When the storage and furniture aren't being used at all, this system frees up living space, allowing for a blank canvas without the detritus associated with inner-city living. Essentially all the components needed to live are present, but presented in a way which means they don't dominate the apartment.
Barcode Room recently won the Grand Prix at Tokyo Designer's Week 2012. Studio_01 is committed to continuing work on Barcode Room, with plans to develop additional bars, and components within the bars. As well as the obvious potential in residential locales, Studio_01 sees potential for the Barcode Room to be used in other spaces such as offices, galleries, and restaurants.
The Studio_01 video below shows some of the transforming systems in operation.