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05/14/2013 06:00 pm ET

'Freedom Room' Is A Model For Tiny Homes Inspired By Prison Inmates' Experiences (PHOTOS)

Cibicworkshop and CoMoDo

Many of the tiny homes we've come across have interesting backstories, but this model for living small is particularly unusual. The "Freedom Room" is a 116-square-foot fully-functional space created by Aldo Cibic, Tommaso Corà and Marco Tortoioli Ricci. These Italian designers make up the Cibic Workshop and worked alongside design collaborative Comodo. But the most surprising consultants on the project were inmates from one of Italy’s high-security prisons in Spoleto.

According to the team, these citizens are the ideal candidates for weighing in on flexible and adaptable living environments. Their hope is that the designs will serve as models for innovative housing for student facilities, hostels, low-cost homes or even future jail cells. The inmates' experiences in their own small quarters allow them to think critically about efficient living since, as a press release for the project says, their cells must be "a kitchen, a room, an office, a playroom, a closet, a gym, a library and much more all at the same time." Tiny home inhabitants must become creative, and many reinvent their space and permanent fixtures, like repurposing a table as a gym. Architizer reports that "many a Spoleto cell is lined with shelving made from cigarette cartons -- a lifehack born of necessity."

This isn't the first time we've heard of prisoners being utilized in design. American furniture companies like Lilise Designer Resale in New Hampshire enlist local inmates to produce their goods in exchange for wages.

Click through the slideshow below to see inside the "Freedom Room" and head over to Architizer for more information.

PHOTO GALLERIES
Freedom Room

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