Final Month of the Making Room Exhibition!

We are now well into the final month of Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers which is closing on September 2. We’ll be so sad to see it go!

If you do decide to visit the exhibition in the next few weeks, you may come across some special surprises…To commemorate its final run, the Museum of the City of New York are hosting a series of events showing visitors how they can live, decorate, cook and organize in small spaces – all taking place in the LaunchPad micro-unit in the exhibit.

Visitors will experience not just the 325-square foot micro-unit, but will engage with experts as they demonstrate how to comfortably whip up a meal, arrange items and entertain.

Additionally, over the next four days, five people will take turns living in the micro-unit to fully experience smaller living quarters – and they will interact with Museum visitors as well as the outside world via live-blogging, holding Google chats, Instagramming and tweeting during the experience.

On tap for the month of August are the following events: liveblogging 24 hours in the micro-unit

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Micro-Units: Can you really live here?

From Thursday, August 15th +

The Museum will have five participants live in the micro–unit over a 24-hour period to find out.

The temporary “residents” will greet visitors, discuss their experiences, and live overnight in the unit. Visitors can track their progress through the Museum’s and the participants’ social media channels.

 You can follow them via Twitter: @MuseumofCityNY and Instagram: museumofcityny.

Clever Ways to Dress Up – and Organize – Your Small Space

A large aspect of small space living is strategic organization and decor. Ann Lightfoot and Kate Berger, founders of Done & Done NYC, know this dilemma all too well and will present visitors with techniques for clever storage, as well as tricks for keeping clutter from reoccurring. Jeffrey Phillip, founder of jp., is an expert at helping clients achieve a home that is both practical and stylish and will demonstrate how to attain a fusion between organization and interior design.

Meet Ann Lightfoot and Kate Berger: Tuesday, August 13th from 1:00 PM-3:00 PM

Done & Done NYC is a household organization consultancy founded by Kate Berger and Ann Lightfoot in 2009. As lifelong New Yorkers, Kate and Ann are exceedingly familiar with the challenges of apartment living and seek to help their fellow urbanites manage their homes in a smart and stylish manner. From studio apartments in the Village to large Park Avenue duplexes, they have seen it all. Not only traditional organizers, Done & Done NYC also provides technology management and household inventory services. And they work closely with a top-notch team of outside professionals to deliver whatever a client needs, be it moving, repairs, or wine cellar management. Whether the challenge is consolidating two homes into one, preparing a home for sale, or simply making an existing space work to its maximum potential.

Meet Jeffrey Phillip: Friday, August 23rd from 1:00 PM-3:00 PM

Professional organizer and interior designer Jeffrey Phillip has had a knack for helping the organizationally and design challenged for as long as he can remember.  Always the go-to guy (and kid) whenever someone needed an orderly solution or style advice, it wasn’t until after college that Jeffrey discovered that his “knack” was in fact a deep and inspiring passion to genuinely help others learn how to live more efficiently.

After over five years in business and backed with a lifetime of experience, Jeffrey is a leading expert in blending style and efficiency for those seeking both practical and fashionable solutions for their everyday life. Working with everyone from the happy homemaker to the high profile individual on the go, Jeffrey works with his clients to transform their homes and offices into thoughtfully organized, stylish and welcoming spaces.

Throwing a Dinner Party – in a Small Space

Great Performances, one of the city’s most prestigious caterers, will have their Creative Director Terri Lee host 20-minute cooking and organizing demos in the micro-unit. Terri will show guests how to pull together simple, yet exquisite, meals and appetizers for friends and family while keeping minimal kitchen space organized.

Meet Terri Lee:

Wednesday, August 14th at 11:00 AM (organizing), 1:00 PM (cooking), 3:00 PM (organizing), 4:00 PM (cooking)

Wednesday, August 21st at 11:00 AM (organizing), 1:00 PM (cooking), 3:00 PM (organizing), 4:00 PM (cooking)

Terri’s creative and holistic approach to design is a reflection of her inquisitive nature and fascination with well-designed visual organization. From an early age, she was a master at puzzles—whether it was fitting in the last few pairs of shoes into her overfilled suitcase or making sure all the unique ceramics and spices fit into her limited kitchen, Terri made sure it was functional AND beautiful. Prior to coming to Great Performances, Terri designed serve-ware products and kitchen prep tools as well as exhibits for children’s museums, retail environments, and visitor centers.  She has researched and developed design criteria for portable food carts and studied the human relationship to cooking and objects used in the kitchen.






CHPC testifies in favor of adAPT

On Wednesday July 24, CHPC testified in favor of the Mayor’s adAPT micro-unit pilot project at the City Planning Commission hearing.

As well as listening to our full testimony, which you can read below, the Commission asked CHPC to send them some basic data on the breakdown of current single person households in Manhattan (currently 46% of all Manhattan households) which we were happy to do!

Using the latest American Community Survey, we analysed the age, income, and occupancy length of individuals currently living alone. If we look at the households themselves (rather than median values), their diversity is revealed:

Individuals living alone in Manhattan

Income Less than $25,000 $25,000-$50,000 $50,000-$75,000 $75,000-$100,000 $100,000+
  30% 19% 16% 11% 25%


Age Under 30 30-40 40-50 50-60 Over 60
  16% 20% 15% 14% 35%


Occupancy length 1 and 2 years 2-5 years 5-10 years 10-20 years Over 20 years
  25% 18% 13% 18% 26%


We were delighted to be able to speak in favor of this exciting project, and to add more statistical detail to the topic for the City Planning Commission.

We firmly believe that we need more housing options for individuals who live alone, in order to redress an extreme mismatch between need and demand. Without any action, this unmet demand is causing all sorts of dysfunction in the housing market including inflating the market price of studio apartments in Manhattan.


Testimony on the adAPT pilot project
City Planning Commission
July 24, 2013
Good morning. I’m Sarah Watson, Deputy Director of the Citizens Housing & Planning Council.
For the last 5 years, we have been running a research initiative called Making Room that was inspired by the huge population increases projected in PlaNYC. Making Room has been focused on scrutinizing how our households are really living today, looking at their lifestyles and how they are grouping themselves together, and coming up with new ideas for how our housing stock can better accommodate these evolving arrangements, as well as the extreme increase in the city’s population.
There are two main results of our analysis in particular that make us huge supporters of this adAPT pilot project:
First, is the staggering numbers of individuals who are living alone. In community district 6, 58% of the households are already a one person living by themselves. And this cuts across all incomes and ages. Again in community district 6, over half of these individuals are over 40 years old.
Through our Making Room project, we have been able to also follow the extraordinary growth of this phenomenon in cities all over the world. San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Barcelona, London, Paris are all experiencing almost majority single person households, and are all grappling with how to respond to this overwhelming need.
And proposing small studio apartments in denser buildings is the logical response.
We have a Making Room exhibition right now at the Museum of the City of New York which has shown us how much international interest and attention there is around the concept of micro-housing. The exhibit has had 100,000 visitors to date. And so many of these visitors who now see New York as a leader in the field.
The second major result that came that came out from our Making Room analysis really shows the repercussions of failing to respond to these changing demographics. Today millions of people are having to share their home in some way in order to find some space in the city.  This is the alternative to a lack of suitable housing options – a culture of doubling up in shared housing is encouraged. It causes all sorts of other pressures on the local housing market and on the larger units in the area, allows no security for tenants, and leads to often illegal and dangerous living arrangements.
So we believe strongly that this project is an essential pilot to explore some new safe legal options for a booming population and one that is not going away but would otherwise be forced to rely on the Craigslist culture of informal doubled up housing. It is an incredibly green project – the most efficient way to live is in a small space in a dense building. And we believe that it allows New York to lead the way once again in the world in terms of housing innovation.