Resource Furniture and Clei Announce Lead Sponsorship of "Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers" at The Museum of the City of New York

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Groundbreaking exhibition will explore housing issues and present innovative solutions. Full-scale, 325 square foot apartment, “LaunchPad” built and furnished by Clei s.r.l and Resource Furniture will be feature of exhibition.

LaunchPad - 325sf Model Apartment

“LaunchPad is luxury in a small footprint - a very European style of living” says architect Pierluigi Colombo, one of the owners of Clei.

In conjunction with the Citizens Housing & Planning Council (CHPC), The Museum of the City of New York (MCNY) will open "Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers" on January 23, 2012. Clei s.r.l. and Resource Furniture are lead sponsors of this exhibit which will offer insights into how New York City’s changing demographics, especially the rise of single adult households are dramatically re-shaping New York City’s housing landscape, and will present creative solutions to the myriad of housing issues facing New Yorkers today and into the future.

A highlight of the exhibition will be LaunchPad, a fully-built, full-scale 325 s.f. apartment, which will give visitors the ability to step into – and move through – an innovative solution that could help New York City reconcile the discrepancy between housing supply and demand. With careful space planning and the use of transformable furniture throughout, the actualized apartment, built and furnished by Clei and Resource Furniture, morphs to fit the occupant’s needs throughout the course of the day. LaunchPad will be constructed with private donations from Clei s.r.l., and Resource Furniture, and contributions from Minimal USA, Key Cucine, Bolon, Duravit, Maimax Contracting and ConcreteWall.

“LaunchPad is a very European style of living” says architect Pierluigi Colombo, one of the owners of Clei. “Clei has been at the forefront of furniture design and innovation for more than 50 years, and we are very happy to have the opportunity to design a home that will convince anyone walking through it that the size of the space doesn’t matter as much as they might think – it’s more about how carefully the space was designed that matters. You can still live a luxurious life in a small footprint”

The main body of the exhibition will spotlight proposals by five design teams that participated in a 2011 CHPC design challenge exploring an array of new housing types, including mini-studios for single adults, new shared housing options, and accessory units for extended families. The proposals will be illustrated through models, drawings, and animated videos. Also on display will be a selection of responses to City Hall’s RFP for the adAPT NYC mini-studio pilot development and will include a virtual 3D walk-through of the winning design scheduled to be built in Manhattan in 2013.

Examples of innovative housing types that are being built across the country and globe, including San Diego, Montreal, Seattle, Valencia and Tokyo, are also detailed. Japan has long been recognized as a leader in creating small, well-designed living spaces and the exhibition showcases several compact homes recently built in Tokyo.

A deeper, core element of the exhibit is the unique discussion surrounding the effect that building codes have had - and continue to have - on the housing market in New York City. Today, New York’s residential stock and related codes no longer match the needs of its changing population. New York City’s regulations continue to encourage housing designed for a traditional household, yet only 18 percent of the city’s housing is occupied by a nuclear family, defined as two parents and children under age 25. Apartments less than 400 square feet are prohibited in many areas of the city, and it remains illegal for more than three unrelated adults living together. However, almost half of all New Yorkers are single. As a result, single-parent families, immigrants, the single elderly and recent graduates, among other groups, struggle to adapt themselves to housing designed for a previous generation and many end up renting illegal and unsafe spaces in the city’s underground housing market.

“This exhibition will give the public a chance to see how our talented designers believe housing can be reshaped to better meet the needs of our 21st century New York City,” said CHPC Executive Director, Jerilyn Perine. “Seeing what is being built in cities around the world, and understanding how our rules have held back housing change, will help educate visitors and spur an important discussion of what our future housing should look like and how we can get there. And most exciting is the chance to experience an actual apartment built with minimum space and environmental impact that is beautifully designed and creates a wonderful place to live.”

“With this exhibition, the Museum of the City of New York and the Citizens Housing & Planning Council are giving New Yorkers a glimpse into the future of housing in our city,” said Susan Henshaw Jones, Ronay Menschel Director of the Museum of the City of New York. “The exhibition clearly demonstrates why New York City needs to allow the development of new types of housing units.”


Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers is organized by Donald Albrecht, Curator of Architecture and Design, and Andrea Renner, Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Curatorial Fellow at the Museum. Jerilyn Perine and Sarah Watson, of Citizen Housing & Planning Council, provided the primary research content underlying this exhibition. The exhibition installation is designed by Pure + Applied. New York City Planning Commission Chair Amanda Burden and New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Matt Wambua are the show’s honorary co-chairs.


Founded in 1923 as a private, nonprofit corporation, the Museum of the City of New York celebrates and interprets the city, educating the public about its distinctive character, especially its heritage of diversity, opportunity, and perpetual transformation. The Museum connects the past, present, and future of New York City, and serves the people of the city as well as visitors from around the world through exhibitions, school and public programs, publications, and collections.

Citizens Housing & Planning Council (CHPC) is a non-profit research organization dedicated to improving housing and neighborhood conditions through the cooperative efforts of the public and privates sectors. Since 1937, CHPC through its impartial research and nonpartisan advocacy has shaped and influence public policy to improve the city’s housing stock and the quality of life in New York City’s neighborhoods. Its board includes practitioners and experts in the fields of urban planning, architecture, zooming and land use law, housing, finance and development, and community development. They provide a practical perspective that enhances CHPC’s high-quality quantitative research and insight on issues affecting the city’s future.

Clei s.r.l. , based in Italy, has been fusing high design, innovation and patented technology with smart and stylish furniture solutions since 1962. Their modern and easy to use transforming wall bed systems are the result of a company philosophy with strong emphasis on research, creativity, and engineering, with fully integrated, modular sleeping, storage, seating, and working solutions. Clei systems are available in North America exclusively at Resource Furniture.

Resource Furniture has built a global network of showrooms offering a range of top-selling luxury European furniture. Resource Furniture is dedicated to redefining the use of space and pushing the limits of technology and design. Since 2000, Resource Furniture has imported and distributed inspired, modern furniture from the finest and most innovative European designers. Every piece in the Resource Furniture collection is selected for its ability to transform a space with both beauty and functionality. For more information, visit one of the showrooms in New York, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Calgary or on the web at

KEY Cucine is a family concern established over 50 years ago by the Sbabo family and managed since 1990 by sons Giuliano and Renzo. Over the years the company evolved from an artisan workshop to a company whose philosophy is to retain the craftsmanship and care for details peculiar to the master joiner combined with cutting-edge technological machines and top quality materials. Great attention is being paid to design and respect for the environment and health of end-users. KEY Cucine was a pioneer in the use of formaldehyde-emission free panels. Flexibility in tailoring the kitchen to customer's specific requirements and wide choice of materials available are other distinctive characteristics of this innovative company.

MinimalUSA is a dynamic kitchen, bathroom and custom furniture design and manufacturing company focused on providing bespoke solutions, ingenious architectural forms, unique materials and technological hardware with rigorous attention to detail Production is based in Italy’s Venetian region whereas the New York showroom represents the company’s international design headquarters with projects completed in New York, Connecticut, California, Florida, Texas, Illinois and the Bahamas as well as abroad in London, Paris, Milan, Rome and Cologne.

Founded in 1817 in the heart of Germany’s Black Forest, Duravit is a leading supplier of sanitary ceramics, bathroom furniture, whirlpool tubs, accessories, and wellness ideas. A leader in its industry, Duravit operates in 60 countries worldwide and has been honored with numerous national and international awards for its innovations in design and technology. Duravit’s collaborations with internationally renowned designers such as Philippe Starck, Phoenix Design, EOOS, Norman Foster and Sieger Design yield forward-thinking, environmentally conscious and award-winning products that bring the bathroom to life. Duravit USA headquarters are based in Duluth, GA. Trade and interested consumers are welcomed at Duravit’s state-of-the-art showroom at 105 Madison Avenue in New York’s newest design district.

Maimax Contracting Inc., located in Dobbs Ferry, New York is dedicated to the highest standard of workmanship, creativity, quality and attention to detail. Our best and most important product is the long-term satisfaction of our customers. It is upon that satisfaction that we have built and continue to build our reputation.

Bolon is driven by an indomitable will to change the view of the conventional. Standing at the helm, sisters Annica and Marie Eklund are the company’s third generation of entrepreneurs. The company’s history starts in Stockholm in 1949. The sisters’ grandfather, Nils-Erik Eklund, had the brilliant idea of using textile waste from the neighboring factory to manufacture woven rag rugs. The company’s name is a combination of the first and last letters of the Swedish words for cotton and nylon. Today, Bolon is a design-led business which draws influences from the world of fashion to produce unique woven floors for creative and inspiring environments. Bolon is represented around the globe and its customers include international brands and world-famous designers and architects.    

ConcreteWall™ is designed by photographer Tom Haga, based in Stavanger, Norway. ConcreteWall™ is the result of photographing raw and worn, new, and even graffiti concrete and brick walls around Norway. This unique wallpaper collection is based on very high resolution images and customized manipulation. All details are unique and not repeated, ensuring that your wall will look like a real concrete or brick wall. We can customize any wallpaper for each specific project.

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Lisa Blecker

Lisa Blecker
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