I recently stumbled upon the ultimate space saver: disappearing, retractable stairs. Although in the design phase, this stair re-design could re-think how stairs are used, especially in small spaces.
Aaron Tang is a RISD graduate and industrial designer based in Boston who seems to relish the problems surrounding every-day design. He has ventured to re-think this architectural element: what it is, what it is used for and what it could be. Could stairs be retracted to allow for greater movement? Is it thinkable to restrict access and still be functional? Of course this may not be appropriate for every homeowner but the concept is liberating.
Look through Aaron's design portfolio for more information.
Also, check out his blog, DesignVerb, for more unique industrial design inspiration.