SCAD Pads Are Showing How A Small Space Can Be All You Need

These new micro homes are a possible solution to housing shortages and financial restrictions

By Team Agorafy October 12, 2016
Photo courtesy of Storify

The Savannah College of Art and Design (otherwise known as: ‘SCAD’) students, along with 12 faculty members as mentors, are making a big impact in a teeny, tiny way all over the globe. Unless you’ve been hiding under a boulder, ‘small’ is the new big trend in modern design and architecture. From miniscule food to itty bitty hotel rooms—everything seems to be shrinking down to practically nothing. Maybe that’s because the US’s urban spaces are now at such a premium that prices have sky-rocketed as bidding wars break out over cubic feet for sale.

Related: The Tiny House Movement: Egalitarian Housing Boon or Middle-Class Craze?

SCAD students, faculty and alumni have transformed small, once uninhabitable spaces—parking spaces to be exact—into colorful, actual living quarters complete with kitchens and bathrooms, as well as sleeping quarters and outdoor space. They call these spaces “SCADpads”. In 2014, the first of such spaces was created in the University of Savannah’s campus parking garage. Measuring in at a wee 135 square feet, you can park your Fiat—or move in.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

There are a total of three SCADpads across the globe in Savannah, Georgia, Europe and Asia. All have their own unique aesthetic with interiors and furniture designed by the students. Design details are prevalent and the décor is all based on functionality. The interiors of all the SCADpads make use of unique fabrics and bright colors that create lots of visual interest.

When designing and living in a small space, details really matter. Pops of color and interesting textiles really stand out and make it seem less like you’re living in a parking garage space—which you are. But given the small quarters, the spaces don’t feel claustrophobic. Glennis K. Lofland is a student at SCAD who participated in the design and is actually living in one of the SCADpads. She shares, “The pads are small, but they become so much larger when you factor in the outside areas. Living does not feel cramped because your daily rhythms incorporate a constant inside/outside movement that you don’t really even notice.” But don’t run out and buy those cute Hello Kitty salt and pepper shakers as there’s not a bunch of room for tchotchkes. A minimalistic design approach is implemented, so it’s not a great space for hoarders or people with more than one cat.

There are also SCAD common spaces like a community garden that’s watered with a greywater filtration and delivery system. This harvesting system uses fiber optics (like the ones used in communications transmissions over long distances) to bring in the natural sunlight into an otherwise dim parking garage- allowing it to shine down and the plants to flourish.

Photo courtesy of Mother Nature Network
Photo courtesy of Mother Nature Network

Additionally there’s a communal greenspace area that can be a common work-space for those living in the nearby SACDpads. The greenspace even comes with your own light-saber that can be used to guide your way back to your mini-home. Of course there’s a recycling center and composting station to assist your waste in shrinking too. SCADpads are developing into the concept of mini-urban enclaves all based on sustainability, reusing materials, and creating a new vision for urban communities. Who knows- maybe all this down-sizing will allow us to shrink our carbon footprints along with our rents? Perhaps it’s a small price to pay for even smaller living. To find out more about SCADpads and the people who created them click here.



Team Agorafy



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