Since the early 2000s, Graham Hill has been a prominent figure in the small-space, less-stuff movement. He came to his current role as a reaction to his former lifestyle, which was anything but minimalist. After making a quick fortune in the Internet’s early days, the designer and entrepreneur went on a spending spree, purchasing a four-story home in downtown Seattle, a spanking-new Volvo, and all the furniture, appliances and gadgets a tech wunderkind could possibly want. But it didn’t take him long to discover that all the possessions he (and his personal shopper) bought were doing nothing but clogging his happiness arteries. If, as Bob Dylan wrote, “You Gotta Serve Somebody,” Hill felt the somebody he served was a monster cobbled together out of all his possessions.
Fast forward about 15 years, and Hill has created and sold another successful online company — Treehugger.com — pared down his personal material world, and become a leading advocate for sustainability. Through his newest venture, LifeEdited, he’s now committed to showing people through example how to streamline and simplify for the good of themselves and the planet. Among LifeEdited’s projects: two very small New York City apartments designed and renovated for multipurpose functionality and efficiency. And that’s where Haiku Home comes in.
In 2015, Hill and his team commenced work on the second of the two apartments, which at 350 square feet was even smaller than the first. In an October 2016 feature article in Dwell, Hill said the goal with LE2, as his team called it, was to “design it in a way that would look less like a white box and have more texture and patina. We also wanted to make it more affordable.” With the help of Brooklyn-based architecture firm Guerin Glass, and Composite Fabrication + Construction, Hill’s Life Edited team created a space that is classic but cost-conscious and totally livable for not just Hill but his partner too.
“ It’s a beautiful fan. The fan works great from an environmental perspective and works well from a financial perspective. It’s beautiful and is super-smart and has incredible technology that even integrates with voice, so it’s an absolute no brainer for us. Graham Hill
In LE2, the team relied on off-the shelf products to keep costs down, and one that made a huge difference in comfort and efficiency was the Haiku fan with SenseME™ technology. In a phone interview from the site of his next project, Hill said that, first, installing a ceiling fan was key from an environmental perspective. “Fans use much, much less energy than air conditioning,” he said. He was quickly won over by the Haiku’s SenseME technology, especially the occupancy sensors and voice control through Amazon Echo. “A lot of people don’t understand that a fan only cools a person, not a room, so there’s absolutely no point in having it on when you’re not there. Having built-in sensors to turn the fan on and off is fantastic.” And then there were Haiku’s aesthetics: “It’s a beautiful fan,” Hill said. “The fan works great from an environmental perspective and works well from a financial perspective,” he said. “It’s beautiful and is super-smart and has incredible technology that even integrates with voice, so it’s an absolute no brainer for us.”
Hill’s “mission work” in the cause of sustainability means he’s not at home in his 350-sq-ft NYC apartment as often as he’d like. But he preaches his environmental message wherever he goes and plans to incorporate fans in all his future projects.
“The Haiku has everything: Energy savings, technology, aesthetics. It’s a great fan. I love it.”