Infinite But Tiny

Towards a Hybrid Architecture of Dwelling


  • Georgios Eftaxiopoulos University of California Berkeley
  • María Álvarez García Leeds Beckett University / University of California Berkeley



In the midst of a new Covid-19 variant – Omicron – in winter 2021, the recently rebranded tech giant Meta announced the company’s vision for the ‘metaverse’: a ‘beyond universe’ of constant connection. Only a few days later, the Swedish furniture giant Ikea shared its latest version of the project Tiny Homes: an extremely condensed and cheap micro-apartment in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district. This paper investigates these two events, and discusses the progressive upscaling of the digital dwelling and the parallel downsizing of the physical dwelling. It argues that, beyond being a deadly epidemic, Covid-19 upended, overnight, not only traditional living and working practices, but also the spaces that determine and are determined by them. It canonised a flexible life by envisioning a new architecture of hybrid dwelling where people could shift in real time from their tiny physical spaces into an infinite digital space. Yet, this opportunity granted by the immersive, allegedly inclusive and democratic new virtual realm hides a strangely familiar set of relations. It facilitates the establishment of a new and broader economy of continuous worldwide accumulation in which constant connectedness, creation and production construct a highly ephemeral and economised hybrid space that transforms the traditional understanding of dwelling into a condition of uprootedness.

Author Biographies

Georgios Eftaxiopoulos, University of California Berkeley

Georgios Eftaxiopoulos (BArch (Hons), AADipl, AAPhD) is an architect and assistant professor of architecture and urbanism at the University of California, Berkeley. Previously, he practiced in Belgium and Switzerland and, most recently, he has taught at the Royal College of Art, the Architectural Association, and the Aarhus School of Architecture.

María Álvarez García, Leeds Beckett University / University of California Berkeley

María Álvarez García (MArch, MA, PhD, ARB) is an architect and senior lecturer at Leeds Beckett University. María has taught at, among other institutions, the University of California, Berkeley, the Architectural Association, and the University of Navarra. Her research on architectural repre-sentation and pedagogies has been published in books, international journals, and online platforms.


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