Living Better with Less: LifeEdited Debuts at Poptech


Photo: Brian Merchant

It's a design contest. It's a way to rethink the way we live, especially our habit of relying so much on stuff. It's a closer look at our demand for big spaces. It's a way to learn to live with less. It's shameless self-promotion. Yesterday at Poptech 2010, TreeHugger founder Graham Hill announced the launch of LifeEdited -- a project that turns his own New York apartment into the guinea pig in a crowd-sourced experiment that seeks to explore ways we can maximize our enjoyment of small spaces and reduce our all-around impact. You may have already caught some of TreeHugger's LifeEdited features, the editorial series that explores ways that we radically reduce our "footprint and live happily with less space, less stuff and less waste on less money, but with more design."

But yesterday was the formal announcement for the launch of the design contest and website. In his talk at Poptech, Graham noted the fact that our homes today are much larger than they were a generation or two ago, but general happiness levels have remained for the most part unchanged. In other words, bigger spaces aren't leading us to more fulfilling lives. And he said the inspiration for the project was rooted in a recent move -- when he discovered just how much stuff he had that he didn't need.

Graham explains: (from

Here are the contest rules in short:

Redesign a 420sf (~39 m2) space to show how we can radically reduce our urban footprint, while living better and saving money.

We'll renovate an apartment in New York City to bring the best ideas to life. We also have up to $70,000 in cash, prizes, a design contract, and stays in the new space.

The contest is sponsored by the NRDC, Cisco, Voltaic, and others. Seems like a great idea to me, but then, I might be biased. Check it out yourself at LifeEdited.

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