MUJI Collaborated with Design Students To Make Dorms and Small Spaces More Livable

published Sep 27, 2021
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Credit: ECAL/Jimmy Rachez
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At Milan Design Week, MUJI unveiled a collaborative project that hopes to make living in small spaces like dorms and shared apartments more appealing. The designers they collaborated with? The same people staying in those dorms.

The project, called Compact Life, features products created by students from the University of Art and Design in Lausanne, Switzerland. The brief was simple but challenging: to make items that will encourage downsizing, and as a result, would reduce the eco footprint of urban dwellers. With guidance from MUJI’s professional designers, the students observed how they interacted with their dorms and homes, and were able to identify pain points. The result is a collection of optimal storage solutions with MUJI’s minimalist aesthetic.

Some of the most stylish items in the collection are for the bedroom. There’s the trolley that lets you store and retrieve belongings under the bed without straining your lower back. A bedside table, meanwhile, conceals your phone as it charges so you can stay away from social media while trying to get some sleep.

Others are good at multi-tasking. For instance, a wire basket that stores towels can double as a step-ladder. There’s a mirrored medicine cabinet that also serves as a whiteboard. And there’s also a frame that can display art, as well as hang notes and cards. For the home office, a folding chair can turn into a small side table for those doing WFH, while a paper wall pocket lets you organize notebooks and stationery.  

As for outdoor pieces, a student made an insect house crafted from wire and bamboo branches. Once you hang it outside your window, you can observe honeybees hovering about — a relaxing activity if you live in a fast-paced, stressful environment.

Other items include a valet stand for hanging clothes, a pole that can store umbrellas and other accessories to make for a clutter-free entryway, and a corner shower shelf so clean, you’d think it was designed by Apple.

Sadly, the Compact Life collection cannot be purchased yet, as they’re still conceptual. Still, these ambitious student projects deserve an A+.