The unabated "room in a box" trend will soon hit the University of Utah's Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, where some two dozen students will get to live in tiny sleeping pods located among a larger workspace at the school, practically signing away their right to a proper work-life balance. But the assumption is that, as budding entrepreneurs, these students want it that way. "As an entrepreneur, your ideas may come to you at 3 a.m. in the morning," Merdad Yzadani, design director at CannonDesign, the firm behind the project, tells Co.Exist. "You want to be able to roll out of the bed, grab your partners, and develop the idea." The 7x7x7-feet units include dorm essentials like a bed, closet, bookshelves, and medicine cabinet, and allow shared access to a common lounge, kitchen, bathrooms, and, of course, a "maker space."
Slated for completion by fall 2016, this "pod community" brings the Silicon Valley phenomenon of live-work "hacker houses" to campus, with a fancy micro dwelling spin. According to Co.Exist, the design was inspired by "tiny but luxurious" spaces like first-class cabins or sailboats and tries to stomp out any negative assumptions about small spaces. The one glass wall in each pod—when not covered by curtains—keeps things from feeling too claustrophobic. Desk space and additional storage facilities are kept outside in the shared space.
The students seem to be okay with the idea. They apparently gave their approval after checking out a virtual version of the pods with some Oculus Rift goggles. Hopefully virtual reality holds up better than the renderings.