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Never too small: the aspiration and nauseation of micro-apartments


The Guardian


Wendy Syfret


It’s hard to explain the exact appeal of Never Too SmallThe YouTube series takes viewers on meditative tours of tiny homes from across the world. Yes the spaces are beautiful and the design innovative, but there’s a curdle in the architectural cream. The residences, which range from 22 to 40 square meters in size, are a curious mix of aspirational and off-putting. Part of you wants to live in these dreamy matchboxes, another wonders how anyone could.

Never Too Small began as a pet project for director and design fan Colin Chee, a way to engage with the architects he admired. It only took four episodes to realise he was on to something. With views growing daily, his employer – Melbourne-based production company NewMac – encouraged him to develop the series. Two years later the channel has drawn a huge following, boasting over 700,000 subscribers, with videos regularly bringing in millions of views.


The homes in Never Too Small are aspirational, but most tiny apartments aren’t a conscious choice of the young, rich and stylish. Scrolling through the comments below Chee’s videos, you quickly realise they rub many the wrong way. Viewers point out that these homes are only available to the wealthy, where many first-homebuyers and young people are more likely to be stuck with poorly designed and overpriced “dog box” apartments.

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