Thriving Micro-Living Model

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July 22, 2014
A professor takes the first step toward creating a new model for micro-living in San Diego. Read Full Article
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  From the mezzanine of his 450-square-foot apartment at La Esquina, an eight-unit live-work building in San Diego’s Barrio Logan neighborhood, designer, artist, and Woodbury University professor Patrick Shields chats with fellow professor Hector Perez, who spearheaded the project.  Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

    From the mezzanine of his 450-square-foot apartment at La Esquina, an eight-unit live-work building in San Diego’s Barrio Logan neighborhood, designer, artist, and Woodbury University professor Patrick Shields chats with fellow professor Hector Perez, who spearheaded the project.

    Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

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  Designer and digital fabricator Shawn Benson shares his 595-square-foot second-floor space with his wife, Jessica, and their daughter, Roux. The 15-foot-high ceilings allow plenty of room for a full-size ocean paddleboard.  Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

    Designer and digital fabricator Shawn Benson shares his 595-square-foot second-floor space with his wife, Jessica, and their daughter, Roux. The 15-foot-high ceilings allow plenty of room for a full-size ocean paddleboard.

    Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

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  The Bensons’ patio is semi-privatized by horizontal slats.  Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

    The Bensons’ patio is semi-privatized by horizontal slats.

    Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

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  The building’s exterior includes a 3-D mural of Cesar Chavez conceptualized by Perez’s son, Adrian.  Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

    The building’s exterior includes a 3-D mural of Cesar Chavez conceptualized by Perez’s son, Adrian.

    Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

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  Perez’s son, Adrian, also helped his dad with the multicolored doors.  Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

    Perez’s son, Adrian, also helped his dad with the multicolored doors.

    Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

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  Upstairs, tenants and friends gather outside sculptor Chris Puzio’s apartment.  Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

    Upstairs, tenants and friends gather outside sculptor Chris Puzio’s apartment.

    Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

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  Like the other larger upstairs units, Puzio’s includes two loft spaces flanking the kitchen, whereas those below have one.  Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

    Like the other larger upstairs units, Puzio’s includes two loft spaces flanking the kitchen, whereas those below have one.

    Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

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  The living room is tucked beneath one of the lofts, which are accessible by a steep ladder-like staircase and fronted by pegboard.  Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

    The living room is tucked beneath one of the lofts, which are accessible by a steep ladder-like staircase and fronted by pegboard.

    Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

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  La Esquina Floor PlanA    510-Square-Foot Corner Unit B    450-Square-Foot UnitC    525- and 595-Square-Foot UnitsD    BathroomE    KitchenF    Terrace-Courtyard  Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

    La Esquina Floor Plan

    A    510-Square-Foot Corner Unit 

    B    450-Square-Foot Unit

    C    525- and 595-Square-Foot Units

    D    Bathroom

    E    Kitchen

    F    Terrace-Courtyard

    Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

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  Creative brainstorming sessions often take place in the building's outdoor spaces. "Generally we open the porch doors all the way to have any meetings or [do] collaborative work," explains designer Shawn Benson.   Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

    Creative brainstorming sessions often take place in the building's outdoor spaces. "Generally we open the porch doors all the way to have any meetings or [do] collaborative work," explains designer Shawn Benson. 

    Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

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  "Food generally plays a part in the exchanges," explains Benson, "so the adjacent kitchen plays its part in lending to that [collaborative] atmosphere."  Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

    "Food generally plays a part in the exchanges," explains Benson, "so the adjacent kitchen plays its part in lending to that [collaborative] atmosphere."

    Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

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  "When it's time to put our noses to the grind stone and produce work, we head upstairs," Benson says. "Myself and one or two fellow designers will chip away at things in the loft into the evenings."  Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

    "When it's time to put our noses to the grind stone and produce work, we head upstairs," Benson says. "Myself and one or two fellow designers will chip away at things in the loft into the evenings."

    Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

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  "The simple volume of the space and large openings let light and air flow freely," Benson says. "The environment is always pleasant even without air conditioning or heating."  Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

    "The simple volume of the space and large openings let light and air flow freely," Benson says. "The environment is always pleasant even without air conditioning or heating."

    Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

  • 
  "Most of us overlap on informal and formal ventures all the time," Benson says. "I'm currently working on some pro-bono work with one of the downstairs neighbors on design research. The parking lot serves as a living laboratory at times as well."  Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

    "Most of us overlap on informal and formal ventures all the time," Benson says. "I'm currently working on some pro-bono work with one of the downstairs neighbors on design research. The parking lot serves as a living laboratory at times as well."

    Photo by: Ye Rin Mok

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