Less is more – more or less

Recently I have been involved in something that has occupied my mind in calm moments; living with less. Don’t get me wrong, I am not looking for an ascetic lifestyle like what is becoming en vogue right now with just 100 things or tiny houses. Just a lot less than what I have now, which I feel becomes more of a burden than joy. So, when I had the chance to help a friend standing around at a design exposition near Zürich, promoting a mini house, I jumped to it. And men did we make an impact in three days.

That is a whole house. 25 square meters and everything a single person (or two) needs. How we happened to end up building a house in a old industrial building is a long story, I will tell you another time.

We did not know, what would happen on this first day but let me tell you, I did rarely sit or shut up during the 9 hours the exposition was open on the first day.
People were streaming in and out and we had some very interesting discussion. Some awkward ones, too, with Tiny-House fans, who did not or did not want to understand the concept behind this, because it is not a solution for the cash strapped or cheapskate. It is not luxurious either. It’s something for people who want to live with less without compromising. The best description I heard for this is:

„It is better to have a few precious things, than many mediocre.“

And I think we hit a nerve. People commented on the building quality, which is first class, the materials, the colours used, the feeling of space and like that it went the whole time.
We are not the first with a mini house, but after quite a bit of research, this is by far the best I have seen. Simply because the design is … well … simple. But how to make things look simple without looking boring or stupid, is a sign of great design. Other mini houses I have seen are much more cluttered. Trying to cramp as many things as possible in the tiniest possible space. In the process loosing space. This concept is different. Almost the whole back wall is storage space and kitchen. There is a bath with a very big shower and a wardrobe on the other side of the single wall. That’s it. It works. Brilliantly.
And that is only the smallest concept. There are in total 10 concept houses in different sizes up to 95 square meters that can be build by this team of master craftsmen in the blink of an eye. And you are not limited by anything. You want another roof or building regulations are too strict? These houses are easily adaptable. Having seen, what modern wood building technique can do (you can have bricks, if you prefer), the house made of fix modules is a thing of the past. But you should let yourselves be guided by the basic concept and change just details. Otherwise you end up with something you actually wanted to avoid. Another too big house.

HCL World Premiere Live from Tokyo

First things first, how cool is Domino Volt. Too bad it is an extra license. Well, it will depend on the price, if it will have an impact. I would have thought, since HCL wants to win the citizen developer back, they would not make him pay extra. We will see how it works out. I personally do not have a lot of hope, that this citizen developer comes back. My (very limited) impression is, that most have already problems using a spread sheet correctly, but Volt would be right beyond the scope of most people. I may be wrong, no, I hope I am wrong because I think that thing is mighty cool. I really would like to know, if it is possible to create your own components.

Connections I did not get. Probably because I have not seen Connections for a while now, but the demo was somewhat strange and much too fast, as was the one for Domino Volt. On the other hand, it looks like that they did a huge step forward in terms of usability and flexibility. But I still don’t like WebSphere.

Now the things that made me blink. The quality of the video and sound was awful. Like in the early days of internet with ISDN modems. I tried browser and app on an iPad. Same very bad experience. Except the app was quite a bit ahead of Firefox.
Well, they said it was live, but all that could have been recorded before. Having watched part of the recording in a much better quality again, it probably was live. It sounded there where about 20 people at the live event somewhere in a Japanese shed and after 30 minutes that was it. 90 Minutes had been blocked by the calendar entry. Frankly, I looked at the blank screen for a minute or so and waited for an encore and others apparently had the same feelings. Somebody asked if that was it and the answer was „yes“. Did I miss anything?

All in all, cool products, strange presentation.