A USC Student's Apartment Is Blowing Up On Social Media Because It Seems Ridiculously Unlivable
Recently, a video that 22-year-old USC senior Max Cohen posted to his TikTok account went totally viral, and people are wondering why his, ummm, unique off-campus apartment would ever be set up that way.
And pleeeease watch the video — I'm including a lot of screenshots, but this is wild, and to see how it works, you really need to see it move.
Max begins his video by entering the apartment's bedroom and saying he just moved into his new apartment. "You may wonder, what is this? Well, this is my desk."
"And this is my closet," he continues, moving to the other side of the piece of furniture, which takes up the entire middle of his room. "And this is my bed!"
The entire bedroom is made up of one cumbersome piece of electronic furniture called an Ori System, which is designed to move itself to one side of the room or the other in order to make room for the user to get into the bed. Ori calls this an "expandable apartment" — make of this what you will!
"So, how do we get it to work?" Max asks, before pushing a button. This puts it in "desk mode," wherein the "bed" and "closet" side of this...piece of furniture are pushed tight against the wall.
Then he pushes the button again and puts it into "bed mode," wherein the Ori moves to the side and a mattress slides out from underneath. "Like, WHO thought this was a good idea?" he asks, panning out to show the entire room. "Be honest."
In a statement, reps for Ori said that the company's mission is to "empower people to live large in small spaces," especially as we are seeing "rising rents and shrinking unit sizes."
But commenters were incredulous. "I'm so confused because those rooms can easily fit regular furniture," wrote user catpuccino. Others were asking whether the furniture constituted a fire hazard.
I had, like, a million questions about this room setup, so I reached out to Max to get some more info.
Max told BuzzFeed that while he did get to see the unit before he signed the lease, he was told over the phone by leasing company Mosaic Student Communities that he could "pay someone to remove, store, then re-install the system." After moving in, though, he claims he was told it wouldn't be possible; and since nothing was in writing, his room will keep the system for the rest of the school year.
Mosaic Student Communities replied to a request for comment and told BuzzFeed that feedback in the apartment complex "has generally been very positive." The company did not give a statement regarding the potential fire hazard, nor to Max's claim that while he was told he could have the system removed, he is now not allowed to remove it.
USC also responded to a request for comment, specifying that "The apartment in the TikTok video is an off-campus apartment that is privately owned, and not university housing."
In one video, Max has his roommate put the Ori into "bed mode" while he's on the mattress, to test whether someone could theoretically lock you in while you're sleeping.
"From my understanding, there is no way to control the Ori system from the inside," Max told BuzzFeed. And "no way to manually move it."
Reps for Ori told BuzzFeed that "All Ori systems undergo extensive safety testing and are certified by [Underwriter Laboratories] to the same standards as all household and commercial furnishings. Every Ori system can be controlled manually, as well as electronically, and each comes equipped with safety stop technology to prevent accidental harm."
When asked about ease of use, Max said, "It's a little frustrating waiting for the system to move back and forth. If I'm in bed mode, I need to put it into the desk to even open and close my window."
But, he says, living in the complex is not all bad. It's close to campus, Max says, on a quiet street with easy street parking. "I honestly thought the system was interesting — that's why I ended up posting it randomly on TikTok, with no intention of it blowing up this much."
"I'm still getting used to it, but it honestly does have a lot of storage space, and there is a nice courtyard area outside," he says, and continues to say that he mostly just uses his room for sleeping, "which makes things a little easier."
If you'd like to keep up with Max, you can follow him on his TikTok or Instagram.