The city predicts that in the next 20 years, the population will reach 9 million people. Even today, the city’s 1.8 million one- and two-person households face a specific problem: there are only one million studios and one-bedroom apartments available.

The city’s answer was to launch adAPT NYC, a competition to create a new model of housing to deal with the explosion in growth. The winners, Monadnock Development, Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation, and nARCHITECTS will create a special building of 55 new micro-units at 335 East 27th St. in Manhattan. A full 40 percent of those will be affordable housing, the rest will be market rate. To help visualize what life in 325 square feet would look like, the Museum of the City of New York has been hosting an exhibition of a sample unit throughout the summer. The exhibit, which runs through Sept. 2, is now hosting a string of 24-hour residents from different walks of life in the space, which is equipped with a queen-sized bed, flat-screen TV, desk, couch, and kitchen table. Residents so far have included two bloggers, two museum interns, and a couple who hosted a dinner party for 8.

For the organization behind the museum exhibit, Citizens Housing Planning Council (CHPC), solutions like micro-apartments for New York City are part of its core mission. The independent, non-profit research organization’s Making Room Initiative is honed in on diversifying New York City’s housing stock and getting past the behemoth housing and zoning laws that they feel limit the possibilities.