MADE.COM’s Emerging Talent Award to find aspiring designer’s space-saving ideas

Every second, the world’s urban population grows by two people. Today, over half of the planet (54%) live in cities.

The space each person occupies in a city is shrinking and people are learning to live in increasingly smaller spaces. The average family home has shrunk by 2m² since 2003, which is more than the size of a three-seater sofa. It’s estimated that 150,000 children in the UK are living in bedrooms that have been partitioned into two.

In London, the situation is most extreme, with a fifth (20%) of 18-24 year olds using a dining room as a bedroom and a third (33%) using a study to sleep in. Only a fifth (21%) of all Londoners have a separate room to eat in, and this number is smaller among the younger population and those living in central London. Almost a third of people living in the city would describe their homes as a ‘large bedsit’, with that figure reaching almost half (49%) amongst 18-24 year olds.

As people’s homes shrink, the need for space saving furniture grows. This year MADE.COM’s Emerging Talent Award, a competition to find the next big name in design urges aspiring designers to submit space-saving, multi-tasking furniture ideas for modern-day living to:

The MADE Emerging Talent Award is a platform for emerging designers to gain the necessary exposure to make a breakthrough in the industry, and for MADE.COM to uncover the newest talent in Europe. The winning design will be produced and sold on MADE.COM within 12 months.

Smaller spaces force people to reconsider lifestyle choices. Almost half (48%) of fully occupied households in the UK don’t have space to entertain visitors. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) says the average one-bedroom new-build home is currently 46m²: the size of a carriage on London Underground’s Jubilee Line.

More than 8 in 10 (86%) Londoners feel they have to be creative with their storage space. Many of the products already sold on MADE.COM are aimed at making the most of small, urban spaces. The Esme Wall Desk is a compact, wall-mounted, desk designed for small home office, and the Lomond Storage Coffee Table has lots of inbuilt storage, and a lid that flips up to become a table.

Ning Li, CEO and Founder said: ‘Our customers are focused in cities across Europe where the average living space is shrinking rapidly. MADE.COM products are designed to reflect the increased requirement of compact urban space. Modern designs should not just be aesthetic, but created with thought and a focus to solve customer problems. Space saving and multi-function have been and continue to be a major focus for MADE.COM.’